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The Emperor of All Men 




Thornton Butterworth, Ltd. 

First Published ----- March, 1928 

Second Impression - - - - May, 1928 

Third Impression ... - May t 1929 

Fourth Impression - - - March, 1931 
.Firs* Impression in thr Krvvtine 

Library ------ November. 1933 

Second Impression - March t 1934 

Third Impression - ... May, 1936 

w4// rights reserved 
Made and Printed in Great 


" God in Heaven. The Kha Khan, the 
Power of God> on Earth. The seal of the 
Emperor of Mankind" 




Part I 


I. THE DESERT -*..--ig 






VII. THE YASSA -------73 

Part II 

VIII. CATHAY ------ -8l 



XI. KARAKLORUM - - - - - -IO4 

Part III 



XV. BOKHARA - - - - - - -136 







XIX. THE ROAD MAKERS - - - - * 170 




Part IV 







MONGOL HORDE - - - - - 2l8 












THE HOLY LAND - .... 265 

BIBLIOGRAPHY ...... 267 

INDEX --.--... 277 


GENGHIS KHAN ------ Frontispiece 

Facing Page 












A BATTLE SCENE - - - - - - -132 







SEVEN hundred years ago a man almost conquered 
the earth. He made himself master of half the 
known world, and inspired mankind with a fear that 
lasted for generations. 

In the course of his life he was given many names- 
the Mighty Manslayer, the Scourge of God, the 
Perfect Warrior, and the Master of Thrones and 
Crowns. He is better known to us as Genghis 

Unlike most rulers of men, he deserved all his 
titles. We moderns have been taught the muster- 
roll of the great that begins with Alexander of 
Macedon, continues through the Caesars, and ends 
with Napoleon. Genghis Khan was a conqueror of 
more gigantic stature than the well-known actors 
of the European stage. 

Indeed it is difficult to measure him by ordinary 
standards. When he marched with his horde, it 
was over degrees of latitude and longitude instead of 
miles ; cities in his path were often obliterated, and 
rivers diverted from their courses ; deserts were 
peopled with the fleeing and dying, and when he had 



appear to be the most brilliant of Europeans. But we 
cannot forget that he abandoned one ajmy to its fate 
in Egypt, and left the remnant of another in the snows 
of Russia, and finally strutted into the debacle of 
Waterloo. His empire fell about his ears, his Code 
was torn up and his son disinherited before his death. 
The whole celebrated affair smacks of the theatre and 
Napoleon himself of the play-actor. 

Of necessity we must turn to Alexander of Macedon, 
that reckless and victorious youth, to find a con- 
quering genius the equal of Genghis Khan Alexander 
the god-like, marching with his phalanx toward the 
rising sun, bearing with him the blessing of Greek 
culture. Both died in the full tide of victory, and 
their names survive in the legends of Asia to-day. 

Only after death the measure of their achievements 
differs beyond comparison. Alexander's generals 
were soon fighting among themselves for the king- 
doms from which his son was forced to flee. 

So utterly had Genghis Khan made himself master 
from Armenia to Korea, from Tibet to the Volga, 
that his son entered upon his heritage without protest, 
and his grandson Kubilai Khan still ruled half the 

This empire, conjured up out of nothing by a 
barbarian, has mystified historians. The most recent 
general history of his era compiled by learned persons 
in England admits that it is an inexplicable fact. 
A worthy savant pauses to wonder at " the fateful 
personality of Genghis Khan, which, at bottom, we 
can no more account for than the genius of Shake- 
speare. 11 

Many things have contributed to keep the per- 


sonality of Genghis Khan hidden from us. For one 
thing the Mongols could not write, or did not care 
to do so. In consequence the annals of his day exist 
only in the scattered writings of the Ugurs, the 
Chinese, the Persians and Armenians. Not until 
recently was the saga of the Mongol Ssanang Sctzen 
satisfactorily translated. 

So the most intelligent chroniclers of the great 
Mongol were his enemies a fact that must not be 
forgotten in judging him. They were men of an 
alien race. Moreover, like the Europeans of the 
thirteenth century, their conception of the world as 
it existed outside their own land was very hazy. 

They beheld the Mongol, emerging unheralded 
out of obscurity. They felt the terrible impact of 
the Mongol horde, and watched it pass over them to 
other lands, unknown to them. One Mohammedan 
summed up sadly in these words his experience with 
the Mongols, " They came, they mined) they slew 
trussed up their loot and departed" 

The difficulty of reading and comparing these 
various sources has been great. Not unnaturally, the 
orientalists who have succeeded in doing so have 
contented themselves mainly with the political details 
of the Mongol conquests. They present Genghis 
Khan to us as a kind of incarnation of barbaric power 
a scourge that comes every so often out of the desert 
to destroy decadent civilizations. 

The saga of Ssanang Setzen does not help to 
explain the mystery. It says, quite simply, that 
Genghis Khan was a bogdo of the race of gods. Instead 
of a mystery, we have a miracle. 

The medieval chronicles of Europe incline, as we 


have seen, toward a belief in a sort of Satanic power 
invested in the Mongol and let loose jan Europe. 

All this is rather exasperating that modern his- 
torians should re-echo the superstitions of the thir- 
teenth century, especially of a thirteenth-century 
Europe that beheld the nomads of Genghis Khan only 
as shadowy invaders. 

There is a simple way of getting light on the mystery 
that surrounds Genghis Khan. This way is to turn 
back the hands of the clock seven hundred years and 
look at Genghis Khan as he is revealed in the chron- 
icles of his day ; not at the miracle, or the incarnation 
of barbaric power, but at the man himself. 

We will not concern ourselves with the political 
achievements of the Mongols as a race, but with the 
man who raised the Mongols from an unknown tribe 
to world mastery. 

To visualize this man, we must actually approach 
him, among his people and on the surface of the 
earth as it existed seven hundred years ago. We 
cannot measure him by the standards of modern 
civilization. We must view him in the aspects of a 
barren world peopled by hunters, horse-riding and 
reindeer-driving nomads. 

Here, men clothe themselves in the skins of 
animals, and nourish themselves on milk and flesh. 
They grease their bodies to keep out cold and 
moisture. It is even odds whether they starve or 
frdcze to death, or are cut down by the weapons of 
other men. 

" Here arc no towns or cities," says valiant Fra 
Carpini, the first European to enter this land, " but 
everywhere sandy barrens, not a hundredth part cf 


the whole being fertile except where it is watered by 
rivers, which arc very rare. 

" This land is nearly destitute of trees, although 
well adapted for the pasturage of cattle. Even the 
emperor and princes and all others warm themselves 
and cook their victuals with fires of horse and cow 

" The climate is very intemperate, as in the middle 
of summer there arc terrible storms of thunder and 
lightning by which many people are killed, and 
even then there are great falls of snow and such 
tempests of cold winds blow that sometimes people 
can hardly sit on horseback. In one of these we had 
to throw ourselves down on the ground and could 
not sec through the prodigious dust. There are often 
showers of hail, and sudden, intolerable heats followed 
by extreme cold " : 

This is the Gobi desert, A,D. 1162, the Year of 
the Swine in the Calendar of the Twelve Beasts. 

Part I 


LIFE did not matter very much in the Gobi. 
Lofty plateaus, wind-swept, lying close to the 
clouds. Reed bordered lakes, visited by migratory 
winged creatures on their way to the northern tundras. 
Huge Lake Ba'ikul visited by all the demons of the 
upper air. In the clear nights of mid-winter, the flare 
of the northern lights rising and falling above the 

Children of this corner of the northern Gobi were 
not hardened to suffering ; they were born to it. 
After they were weaned from their mother's milk to 
marc's milk they were expected to manage for 

The places nearest the fire in the family tent 
belonged to the grown warriors and to guests. Women, 
it is true, could sit on the left side, but at a distance, 
and the boys and girls had to fit in where they could. 

So with food. In the spring when horses and cows 
b.cgan to give milk in quantity, all was very well. 
The sheep grew fatter, too. Game was more abundant 
and the hunters of the tribe would bring in deer and 
even a bear, instead of the lean fur-bearing animals 
like the fox, marten and sable. Everything went into 



the pot and was eaten the able-bodied men talcing 
the first portions, the aged and the women received 
the pot next* and the children had to fight for bones 
and sinewy bits. Very little was left for the dogs. 

In the winter when the cattle were lean the children 
did not fare so well. Milk existed then only in the 
form of kumiss milk placed in leather sacks and 
fermented and beaten. It was nourishing and slightly 
intoxicating for a young man of three or four years 
if he could contrive to beg or steal some. Meat 
failing, boiled millet served to take the edge off 
hunger after a fashion. 

The end of winter was the worst of all for the 
youngsters. No more cattle could be killed off with- 
out thinning the herds too much. At such a time 
the warriors of the tribe were usually raiding the 
food reserves of another tribe, carrying off cattle 
and horses. 

The children learned to organize hunts of their 
own, stalking dogs and rats with clubs or blunt 
arrows. They learned to ride, too, on sheep, clinging 
to the wool. 

Endurance was the first heritage of Genghis Khan, 
whose birth name was Temujin.* At the time of 
his birth his father had been absent on a raid against 
a tribal enemy, Temujin by name. The affair went 
well both home and afield ; the enemy was made 
prisoner, and the father, returning, gave to his infant 
son the name of the captive foe. 

His home was a tent made of felt stretched over 
a framework of wattled rods with an aperture at the 

Temujin signifies " The Finest Steel "Tumur-ji. The Chinese version 
is T'M mou j** t which has another meaning altogether, " Supreme Earth 


top to let out the smoke. This was coated with white 
lime and ornamented with pictures. A, peculiar kind 
of tent, this yurt that wandered all over the prairies 
mounted on a cart drawn by a dozen or more oxen. 
Serviceable, too, because its dome-like shape enabled 
it to stand the buffeting of the wind, and it could be 
taken down at need. 

The married women of the chieftains and Temu- 
jin's father was a chieftain all had their own orna- 
mented yurts in which their children lived. It was 
the duty of the girls to attend to the yurt^ to keep the 
fire burning on the stone hearth under the opening 
that let the smoke out. One of Temujin's sisters, 
standing on the platform of the cart before the 
entrance flap, would manage the oxen when they 
were on the move. The shaft of one cart would be 
tied to the axle of another and would creak and roll 
in this fashion over the level grassland where, more 
often than not, no single tree or bit of rising ground 
was to be seen. 

In the yurt were kept the family treasures, carpets 
from Bokhara or Kabul, looted probably from some 
caravan chests filled with women's gear, silk gar- 
ments bartered from a shrewd Arab trader, and inlaid 
silver. More important were the weapons that hung 
on the walls, short Turkish scimitars, spears, ivory or 
bamboo bow cases arrows of different lengths and 
weights, and perhaps a round shield of tanned leather, 
lacquered over. 

These, too, were looted or purchased, passing from 
hand to hand with the fortunes of war. 

Tcmujin the youthful Genghis Khan had many 
duties. The boys of the family must fish the streams 


they passed in their trek from the summer to winter 
pastures. The horse herds were in their charge, and 
they had to ride afield after lost animals, and to search 
for new pasture lands. They watched the skyline for 
raiders, and spent many a night in the snow without 
a fire. Of necessity, they learned to keep the saddle 
for several days at a time, and to go without cooked 
food for three or four days sometimes without any 
food at all. 

When mutton or horsc-flcsh was plentiful they 
feasted and made up for lost time, stowing away 
incredible amounts against the day of privation. 
For diversions they had horse races, twenty miles 
out into the prairie and back, or wrestling matches 
in which bones were freely broken. 

Temujin was marked by great physical strength, 
and ability to scheme which is only another way of 
adapting oneself to circumstances. He became the 
leader of the wrestlers, although he was spare in 
build. He could handle a bow remarkably well; 
not so well as his brother Kassar who was called the 
Bowman, but Kassar was afraid of Temujin. 

They formed an alliance of two against their 
hardy half-brothers, and the first incident related of 
Temujin is the slaying of one of the half-brothers, 
who had stolen a fish from him. Mercy seemed to 
these nomad youths to be of little value, but retribu- 
tion was an obligation. 

And Temujin became aware of feuds more import- 
ant than the animosity of boys. His mother, Houlun, 
was beautiful, and so had been carried off by his 
father from a neighbouring tribe on her wedding 
ride to the tent of her betrothed husband. Houlun, 


being both sagacious and wilful, made the best of 
circumstances after a little wailing ; but all in the 
yurt knew that some day men from her tribe would 
come to avenge the wrong. 

At night by the glowing dung fire Temujin would 
listen to the tales of the minstrels, old men who rode 
from one wagon-tent to another carrying a one- 
stringed fiddle, and singing in a droning voice the 
tales of a tribe's forebears and heroes. 

He was conscious of his strength, and his right of 
leadership. Was he not the first-born of Yesukai the 
Valiant, Khan of the Yakka or Great Mongols, 
master of forty thousand tents ? 

From the tales of the minstrels he knew that he 
came of distinguished stock, the Bourchikoun, or 
Grey-eyed Men. He harkened to the story of his 
ancestor, Kabul Khan, who had pulled the emperor 
of Cathay by the beard and who had been poisoned 
as a consequence. He learned that his father's sworn 
brother was Toghrul Khan of the Karaits, the most 
powerful of the Gobi nomads he who gave birth 
in Europe to the tales of Prester John of Asia.* 

But at that time Temujin's horizon was limited 
by the pasture lands of his tribe, the Yakka Mongols. 

" We are not a hundredth part of Cathay," a wise 
counsellor said to the boy, " and the only reason why 
we have been able to cope with her is that we are all 
nomads, carrying our supplies with us, and experienced 
in our kind of warfare. When we can, we plunder ; 
when we cannot, we hide away. If we begin to build 

* This name originated in Europe. At that time there were many tales 
of a Christian emperor who ruled inner Asia, who was known as Prester John 
or Presbyter Johannes. Marco Polo and others after him have chosen to 
identify Toghrul with the mythical Prester John. 


towns and change our old habits, we shall not prosper. 
Besides, monasteries and temples breed mildness of 
character, and it is only the fierce and warlike who 
dominate mankind/ 9 * 

When he had served his apprenticeship as herd 
boy, he was allowed to ride with Yesukai. By all 
accounts the young Temujin was good to look upon, 
but remarkable more for the strength of his body and 
a downright manner than for any beauty of features. 

He must have been tall, with high shoulders, his 
skin a whitish tan. His eyes, set far apart under a 
sloping forehead, did not slant. And his eyes were 
green, or blue-grey in the iris, with black pupils. 
Long reddish-brown hair fell in braids to his back. 
He spoke very little, and then only after meditating 
on what he would say. He had an ungovernable 
temper and the gift of winning fast friends. 

His wooing was as sudden as his sire's. While 
father and son were passing the night in the tent of 
a strange warrior, the boy's attention was attracted 
by the girl of the tent. He asked Yesukai at once 
if he could have her for a wife. 

" She is young," the father objected. 

" When she is older," Temujin pointed out, " she 
will do well enough." 

Yesukai considered the girl, who was nine years of 
age, and r a beauty, by name Bourtai a name that 
harked back to the legendary ancestor of the tribe- 
the Grey-eyed. 

" She is small," her father observed, secretly 

9 It must be remembered that the Mongols were not of the same race as 
the Chinese proper. They were descended from the Tunguai or aboriginal 
stock, with a strong mixture of Iranian and Turkish blood -a race that is 
now called Ural-Altaic. These were the nomads of high Asia that the Greek* 
named Scythians 


delighted by the interest the Mongols showed, " but 
still, you might look at her." And of Temujin he ap- 
proved. " Thy son has a clear face and bright eyes." 

So the next day the bargain was struck and the 
Mongol Khan rode off, leaving Temujin to make 
the acquaintance of his future bride and father-in-law. 

A few days later a Mongol galloped up with word 
that Ycsukai, who had passed a night in the tent of 
some enemies and had presumably been poisoned, 
lay dying and had asked for Temujin. Although the 
thirteen-year-old boy rode as fast as a horse could 
carry him to the ordu or tent village of the clan, he 
found his father dead. 

More than that had happened in his absence. 
The leading spirits of the clan had discussed matters 
and two thirds of them had abandoned the standard 
of the chieftain and had started off to find other 
protectors. They were afraid to trust themselves and 
their families and herds to an inexperienced boy. 

" The deep water is gone," they said, " the strong 
stone is broken. What have we to do with a woman 
and her children ? " 

Houlun, the wise and courageous, did what she 
could to avert the break-up of the clan. Taking the 
standard of the nine yak-tails in her hand she rode 
after the deserters and pleaded with them, persuading 
some few families to turn back their herds and carts. 

Temujin was now seated on the white horseskin, 
Khan of the Yakka Mongols, but he had no more than 
the remnant of a clan around him, and he was faced 
with the certainty that all the feudal foes of the 
Mongols would take advantage of the death of 
Yesukai to avenge themselves upon his son. 



IN the time of his great-grandfather Kabul Khan 
and of his father Ycsukai, the Yakka Mongols 
had enjoyed a kind of over-lordship in the northern 
Gobi. Being Mongols, as a natural consequence 
they had taken to themselves the best of the grazing 
lands that stretched from Lake Baikul eastward to 
the range of mountains known now as the Khingan, 
on the border of modern Manchuria. 

These grazing lands were very desirable, being 
north of the encroaching sands of the Gobi, between 
the two fertile valleys of the small rivers Kerulon 
and Onon. The hills were covered with birch and 
fir, and game was plentiful, water abundant due to 
the late melting of the snows circumstances only 
too well known to the clans that had formerly been 
under the dominion of the Mongol and were now 
preparing to seize the possessions of the thirteen- 
year-old Tcmujin. 

These possessions were of inestimable value to the 
nomads fertile grassland, not too bitter cold in the 
winter, and the herds from which they drew the 
necessities of life, hair to make felt and ropes to bind 
the yurts> bone for arrow tips, leather for saddles and 
kumiss sacks and harness. 



Tcmujin, it seems, might have fled. He could do 
nothing to avert the coming blow, flis vassals, as 
we may call them, were irresolute and not over-willing 
to pay the Khan's tithe of cattle to a boy. Besides, 
they were strung out through all the hills, guarding 
their own herds against wolves and the inevitable 
small raiders of early spring-time. 

He did not flee. The chronicle relates that he 
wept for a while, solitary in the yurt. Then he set 
about the task of leadership. There were his younger 
brothers to feed, and his sisters and his remaining half- 
brother, who appears to have been devoted to the 
youngster. Above all, his mother, who knew only 
too well the inevitable disaster that must overtake her 

Inevitable, because a certain warrior, Targoutai, 
likewise descended from the Bourchikoun, the Grey- 
eyed Men, had announced that he was now over- 
lord of the northern Gobi. Targoutai, chieftain of 
the Taidjuts, the feudal foes of the Mongols. 

And Targoutai who had persuaded most of Temu- 
jin's clansmen to join his standard must now hunt 
down the youthful khan of the Mongols, as an older 
wolf seeks and slays a cub too prone to take the 
leadership of the pack. 

The hunt was launched without warning. Throngs 
of horsemen galloped up to the Mongol ordu^ the 
tent Village, some turning aside to drive off the out- 
lying herds. Targoutai himself made for the tent 
where the standard stood. 

And Temujin with his brothers fled before the 
onset of the warriors, Kassar, the sturdy bowman, 
reining in his pony to send a few arrows at his foes. 


Houlun was suffered to live Targoutai seeking no 
one but Temujin. 

Thus the hunt began, with the Taidjuts dose upon 
the heels of the boys. The hunters made no great 
haste. The trail was fresh and clear, and these nomads 
were accustomed to track down a horse for days if 
need be. So long as Temujin did not get a fresh 
mount, they would close in on him. 

The boys headed instinctively for the shelter of 
gorges, with timber growth to screen them. At times 
they dismounted to hack down trees over the narrow 
track and hinder the pursuers. When twilight came 
upon them they separated, the younger brothers and 
the girls hiding in a cave, Kassar turning off, and 
Temujin himself riding on toward a mountain that 
offered concealment. 

Here he kept away from the pursuers for days, until 
hunger made him risk an attempt to lead his horse 
through the waiting Taidjuts. He was seen, over- 
taken and brought before Targoutai who commanded 
that a kang be put upon him a wooden yoke resting 
on the shoulders and holding the wrists of a captive 
prisoned at both ends. Thus fettered, Temujin was 
led off, the warriors moving back to their own 
grazing land, driving the captured cattle. And so 
he remained, helpless, until he was left with a single 
guard while the warriors went off to feast elsewhere. 
Darkness settled down on the camp, and the young 
Mongol was in no mood to lose an opportunity to 

In the murk of the tent, he struck the head of his 
guard with the end of the kang, knocking the man 
senseless. Running from the tent he found the moon 


risen and a half light through the forest in which 
the camp had been pitched. Plunging iypto the brush 
he made his way toward a river they had crossed the 
day before. And hearing the sound of pursuit 
behind him, he entered the water, sinking down 
among the rushes near the bank until only his head 
was above the water. 

So situated, he watched the Taidjut riders search 
the bank for him, and he noticed that one warrior 
saw him, hesitated and went on without betraying 

In the tang Temujin was almost as helpless as 
before, and it took both intuition and daring to do 
what he next did. He left the river, following the 
horsemen back into the camp, and crept to the yurt 
of the warrior who had noticed him among the rushes 
and had not given him away a stranger, as it hap- 
pened, stopping for the nonce with the hunters of 
this other clan. 

At the apparition of the dripping boy the man was 
more frightened than Temujin. He pitied the cap- 
tive, and must have reflected that the best thing to 
do was to rid himself of the youth. So he split the 
kang and burned up the fragments, hiding Temujin 
meanwhile in a cart loaded with wool. 

It was hot in the loose wool no pleasant abiding 
place, especially when the Taidjut warriors came to 
search* the tent, and thrust spears into the cart, one 
of the blades wounding Temujin in the leg. 

"The smoke of my house would have vanished, 
and my fire would have died out for ever had they 
found thee," the man remarked grimly to the fugitive, 
giving him at the same time food and milk and a bow 


with two arrows. " Go now to thy brothers and 

And Temujin, riding a borrowed horse, found his 
estate little better than that pictured by the stranger 
the site of his camp filled with the ashes of fires, 
his herds gone, his mother and brothers vanished. 
He tracked them down, and discovered a hungry 
family in hiding, the stern Houlun, the doughty 
Kassar, and Bclgutai the half-brother who idolized 

They lived after a fashion, travelling by night to 
the camp of a distant well-wisher, with no more than 
eight horses in their string, trapping the more miser- 
able game such as marmots and contenting themselves 
with fish instead of mutton. Temujin learned how 
to keep out of an ambush, and to break through the 
lines of men that hunted him down. Hunted he 
was, and his cunning grew with the years. He was 
not, apparently, caught a second time. 

He might, even then, have fled from his ancestral 
grazing lands. But the youthful khan had no inten- 
tion of leaving his heritage to his enemies. He visited 
the scattered settlements of his clan, demanding 
gravely the khan's tithe of the four beasts a camel, 
ox, horse and sheep to provide for his mother. 

It is noticeable that he refrained from doing two 
things. Bourtai the Grey-eyed still awaited his 
coming, to bear her off to his tent, and the father of 
Bourtai was a powerful clansman, a leader of many 
spears. But Temujin did not go near them. 

Nor did he appeal to the aged and influential 
Toghrul, the " Provider " chieftain of the Karalt 
Turks, who had drunk the oath of comradeship with 


Ycsukai a bond that entitled the son of one to go at 
need and claim the other for foster-father. A simple 
matter, perhaps, to ride over the prairies to the 
Karaits who lived in walled cities and were possessed 
of real treasures, precious stones, woven stuffs, fine 
weapons and even tents of cloth-of-gold to the 
Karaits who were the people of this Prester John of 

" To go as a beggar with empty hands," Temujin 
argued, " is to arouse scorn, not fellowship." 

And he stuck to this determination, which was not 
a matter of false pride, but a Yakka Mongol's down- 
right way of thinking. Prester John was obliged 
to aid him an oath of comradeship is more binding 
in high Asia than the pledge of a king but he would 
not make use of this master of cities and strange 
wonders until he could appear before him as an 
ally, not as a fugitive. 

Meanwhile his eight horses were stolen. 

The affair of the eight horses is worth relating in 
full from the chronicle. Prowling Taidjuts were the 
thieves, and Belgutai was absent at the time on the 
ninth horse, a certain sorrel mare, the same that had 
carried Temujin out of the clutches of Targoutai. 
Belgutai was hunting marmots and when he rode in 
the young khan went to his side. 

" The horses have been stolen." 

This was a serious matter, as it put all the brothers 
but one afoot, at the mercy of any raiders who might 
come along. 

Belgutai offered to go for them. 

" Couldst not follow and find them/' objected 
Kassar. " I will go." 


" Ye could not find them," said Tcmujin, " and 
if ye found them ye could not bring them back. 
I will go." * 

And go he did, on the tired sorrel mare, picking up 
the trail of the riders and the eight horses, and 
following for three days. He had carried with him 
some dried meat, placed between the saddle and the 
horse's back, to soften it and keep it warm. This had 
given out long since, but a greater handicap was the 
lagging horse. The Taidjuts, being able to change from 
one animal to another, had kept beyond his sight. 

After the fourth sunrise the young Mongol en- 
countered a warrior of his own age milking a mare 
beside the trail. 

" Hast thou seen eight horses and some men 
driving them ? " Temujin asked, reining in. 

" Yea, before dawn eight driven horses went past 
me. I will show thee the trail they took." 

After a second glance at the Mongol, the strange 
youth hid his leather sack in some tall grass after 
tying it up. " Thou art tired and anxious," said he. 
" My name is Borchu and I will ride with thee after 
the horses." 

The tired sorrel was turned out to graze and 
Borchu roped and saddled a white horse from the 
herd he was tending, offering it to Tcmujin. They 
took up the trail again, and came three days later 
within sight of the Taidjuts' camp, with the stolen 
horses grazing near by. 

These the two youths drove off, and were promptly 
followed by the warriors, one of whom, mounted on 
a white stallion and armed with a lariat, began to 
overtake them. 


Borchu offered to take Temujin's bow and hang 
back to meet the pursuers, but Temujin would have 
'none of this. They drove on the horses until daylight 
began to fail, and the warrior on the white stallion 
was almost near enough to use his rope. 

" These men might wound thee," the young 
Mongol said to his new comrade, " and I will use 
the bow." 

Dropping behind, he fitted an arrow to the string 
and loosed it at the Taidjut who fell from the saddle, 
and the others drew rein when they came up with 
him. The two youths hurried on through the night 
and came in safety to the camp of Borchu's father, 
with the horses and the story of their exploit 
Borchu hastening to find and fetch in the sack of 
milk to temper his father's anger. 

" When I saw him weary and anxious," he ex- 
plained, " I went with him." 

The father, master of a large herd, listened with 
some satisfaction for the tales of Temujin's adven- 
tures had passed from tent to tent over the prairies. 
" Ye are young," said he, " be ye friends and be ye 

They gave the young khan food, filled a bag with 
mare's milk and sent him on his way Borchu follow- 
ing not long after, with a gift of black fur for the 
family and the chieftain he had taken to himself. 

" Without thee," Temujin greeted him, " I could 
not have found and brought back these horses, so half 
of the eight are thine." 

But to this Borchu would not agree. " If I should 
take what is thine from thee, how couldst thou call 
me comrade ? " 


Neither Tcmujin nor his youthful bra yes were 
niggards. Generosity was deep seated in him, and 
his memory for those who served him unfailing. As 
for those who warred against him everyone outside 
his little band was a potential enemy. 

"As a merchant trusts in his stuffs for profit, 3 ' 
he assured his comrades, " the Mongol puts his only 
hope of fortune in his bravery." 

In him were revealed the virtues and cruelties of 
that other nomad race, the Arabs. For weak characters 
he had little use, and he was suspicious of everything 
outside his dan. He had learned to match his cun- 
ning against the deceit of his enemies, but his word, 
when pledged to one of his own following, was 

"Word breaking," he said in after years, "is 
hideous in a ruler." 

Even in his clan, which was now increasing by the 
return of warriors who had followed his father, his 
leadership rested on nothing more substantial than his 
own skill in evading his enemies and holding by hook 
or by crook the all-important pasture lands for his 
followers. Their herds and weapons, by tribal custom, 
belonged to themselves, not to the khan. The son of 
Yesukai might claim their allegiance only so long as 
he could protect them. Tradition the law of the 
tribes permitted the men of the clan to select another 
leader if Tcmujin should prove lacking in the ceaseless 
and merciless warfare of the nomad lands. 

Cunning kept Tcmujin alive, and a growing wisdom 
kept the nucleus of a clan about him. Physical 
prowess he had, and watchfulness. The chieftains 
who raided the fertile region between the Kerulon 


and Onon could drive him from the hills into the 
lower plain but could not bring him to bay. 

" Temujin and his brothers/ 1 it was said, " are 
growing in strength." 

Only in Temujin did a spark of unquenchable 
purpose glow. He would be master of his heritage. 
At this time, when he was seventeen, he went to 
look for Bourtai, to carry off his first wife. 



AMONG the bow-and-arrow people, the deni- 
zens of the land of long days and of the high, 
white mountains as the ancient Chinese were wont 
to describe the northern barbarians there existed an 
inclination to good humour, an impulse of laughter. 
Because life was a thing of such incessant toil, and 
the elements unfriendly, and suffering a constant 
condition, any alleviation of hardships gave occasion 
for merry-making. One cannot contemplate Temujin 
and his Mongols without realizing that they relished 
a joke ; their good humour was sometimes as over- 
bearing as their cruelty. Their feasts were gargantuan 

Marriage and burial offered a rare occasion for 
ikhudur> for festival. Such a relaxation of the wolf- 
like antagonism was Temujin's arrival at the tent 
village of the father of Bourtai several hundred 
youths riding up unexpectedly, fully armed and 
accoutred in sheepskins, loose tanned-leather jackets 
and hideously painted lacquer breast-plates, water 
sacks on the cruppers of their high saddles, lances 
dung across their shoulders dusty and grimy over 
the coating of grease that protected bony faces from 
the cold and bite of the wind. 

" When I heard of the great enmity against thce," 



the father of Bourtai greeted the young khan, " we 
did not look to see thcc thus alive." 

A rare scene of laughter, and impetuous good 
cheer. Servants scurrying about to kill and dress sheep 
and fat horses for the pot, the Mongol warriors 
having left their weapons at theyurt entrances sitting 
on the right hand of the elders of the tents, drinking 
and dapping their hands. Before every potation, a 
servant hastening out to pour a libation to the quarters 
of the four winds, and the one-stringed fiddlers 
striking up. 

A vista of weather-stained riders out of the plains, 
pulling the ears of their comrades as if to stretch wider 
their throats for the fermented milk and rice wine to 
go down the easier, and dancing clumsily in their 
deerskin boots. 

In the tent of the chieftain, on the third day, 
Bourtai, sitting on the left hand, arrayed in a long 
dress of white felt, the braids of her hair heavy with 
silver coins and tiny statues, her head-dress a cone 
of birch bark covered with treasured silk and supported 
over cither car by the whorls of braided hair 
becomingly silent, until the time of her taking off, 
when she fled through the other tents and Temujin 
must needs pursue her, going through the ceremony 
of a struggle with her sisters and handmaids, and 
finally bearing her off to his horse. 

A brief ikhudur this, of the small-nosed beauty who 
departed from her tent village, astride one of Tcmu- 
jin's ponies. She had awaited his coming four years 
and she was now thirteen years of age. 

So she rode, bound around the waist and breast 
with blue girdles, her servants bearing with them a 


This engraving, made from a contemporary Chinese print, conveys an accurate 
impression of the armour and weapons used against Genghis Khan, 


sable cloak to be presented to Tcmujin's mother. 
She was now the wife of the khan, bound to care for 
his yurt> to milk if need be the animals, to watch 
the herds when the men were off at war, to make felt 
for the tents, to sew garments with split sinews, to 
make sandals and socks for the men. 

Thus her duties. And indeed she was singled out 
for a destiny above that of other women. History 
knows her as Bourtai Fidjen, the Empress, mother of 
three sons who ruled in a later day a dominion greater 
than Rome's. 

The sable cloak also had its destiny. Tcmujin now 
thought the time auspicious to visit Toghrul of the 
Karaits. He took with him his young heroes and the 
sable cloak for a gift. 

Toghrul Khan appears to have been a man of 
integrity and a lover of peace. If not a Christian 
himself, his clans were made up largely of Nestorian 
Christians who had received their faith from the 
early apostles of Saints Andrew and Thomas. They 
held the river lands where the city of Urga is now 
situated. Being largely of Turkish race they were 
more given to trade and its attendant luxuries than 
the Mongols. 

Tcmujin, in this first visit to the court of as we 
may call him his foster-father, did not ask for aid 
from the powerful Karaits and it was Toghrul who 
reminded him before he rode away of the tie between 

But before long Temujin invoked the friendship 
of the old khan. The feuds of the Gobi blazed up 
anew. Unexpectedly, a formidable clan came down 
from the northern plain and raided the Mongol 


camp. These were the Mcrkits or Merguen, true 
barbarians descended from the aboriginal stock of the 
tundra region ^people from the " frozen white world' 1 
where men travelled in sledges drawn by dogs and 

Dour fighters by all accounts, and clansmen of the 
warrior from whom Houlun had been stolen by 
Tcmujin's father some eighteen years ago, most 
probably they had not forgotten their old grievance. 
They came at night, casting blazing torches into the 
ordu of the young khan. 

Temujin was able to get to a horse and clear a 
way to safety with his arrows, but Bourtai fell to the 
raiders. To satisfy tribal justice they gave her to a 
kinsman of the man who had lost Houlun. 

The northern warrior did not long enjoy the 
possession of the Mongol's bride. Temujin, lacking 
men to launch an attack upon the Mcrkits, went to 
his foster-father Toghrul and besought the aid of the 
Karaits. His request was readily granted and Mongol 
and Karait descended upon the village of the raiders 
during a moonlight night. 

The scene is described in the chronicle Tcmujin 
riding among the disordered tents, crying the name 
of his lost bride Bourtai, hearing his voice, running 
forth to seize his rein and be recognized. 

" I have found that which I sought," the young 
Mongol called to his companions, dismounting from 
his horse. 

Although he could never be certain if Bourtai's 
first-born were his son, his devotion to her is unmis- 
takable. He made no distinction among his sons by 
her. He had other children, but these were his 


cherished companions. Other women and their 
children are no more than vague names in the chronicle. 
More than once Bourtai's intuition pflictrated plots 
against his life. We discover her at dawn, kneeling 
beside his bed and weeping. 

" If thine enemies destroy thy heroes, majestic as 
cedars, what will become of thy small, weak 
children ? " 

There was no truce in the struggle of the desert 
clans. The Mongols were still the weakest of the 
nomads who ranged the barrens beyond the great 
wall. The protection of Toghrul made him safe for 
some years from the westernmost ring of tribes, but 
the Taidjuts and Buyar Lake Tartars* harried him on 
the east with all the bitterness of old enmity. Only a 
body of exceeding strength and a wolfs instinct for 
scenting out danger kept the khan alive. 

Once he was left for dead in the snow, wounded by 
an arrow in the throat, and two comrades discovering 
him sucked the blood from his wound, melting snow 
in a pot to wash out his hurts. The devotion of these 
warriors was no lip service they stole food from an 
enemy camp when he lay ill, and again, when a 
blizzard arose on the plain, held a leather cloak as a 
shelter over him while he slept. 

While visiting the yurt of a khan supposedly 
friendly, he discovered that a pit had been dug under 
an innocent-seeming carpet upon which he had been 
invited to sit, Temujin was soon called upon to 
extricate his whole clan from as bad a dilemma. 

The Tatars were a separate clan. Early Europeans by mistake applied 
the name Tatars to the Mongols, and " Tatary " to the Empire of the Mongol 
Khans. The origin of the word is Chinese T'a r*a, or T'a in, the Far 
People, though the Tartars on their own account may have adopted the name 
of an early chieftain, Tatur. 




The Mongols, now grown to the strength of thir- 
teen thousand warriors, were en routi from summer 
to winter pastures. They were scattered down a long 
valley, their covered wagons, the kibitkas or tent carts, 
trundling along within the slow moving herds, when 
word was brought to the khan that a horde of foe- 
men had appeared on the sky-line and was moving 
swiftly down upon him. 

No heir-apparent of Europe ever faced a similar 

The enemy materialized into thirty thousand 
Taidjuts led by Targoutai. To flee meant the sacrifice 
of women, cattle and all the clan's possessions ; to 
muster his fighting bands and ride out to meet the 
Taidjuts would lead inevitably to his being surrounded 
by greater numbers, his men cut down or scattered. 

It was a crisis of nomad life in which the clan faced 
destruction, and it called for instant decision and 
action by the khan. 

Promptly and in a fashion all his own Tcmujin 
met the crisis. By now all his warriors were mounted 
and gathering under the various standards. Drawing 
them up in lines of squadrons with one flank protected 
by a wood, he formed upon the other flank a large 
hollow square of the kibitkas. The cattle he drove into 
this square, and into the carts he hurried the women 
and the boys who were armed with bows. 

He now prepared to face the charge of the thirty 
thousand who were crossing the valley. They were 
in full array, drawn up in squadrons of five hundred. 
These squadrons had a hundred men in a rank and 
were in consequence five ranks deep. 

The first two lines wore armour heavy plates of 


iron, pierced and knotted together with thongs, and 
helmets of iron^r hard, lacquered leather surmounted 
with horsehair crests. The horses, too, were barded 
their necks, chests and flanks covered with leather. 
Their riders bore small, round shields and lances with 
horsehair tufts beneath the points* 

But these ranks of armoured riders halted while the 
rearmost lines passed through them men wearing 
only tanned leather and armed with javelins and 
bowt. These, on nimble horses, wheeled in front of 
the Mongols launching their weapons and screening 
the advance of the heavy cavalry. 

Temujin's men, armed and equipped in like 
manner, met the onset with flights of arrows, driven 
from powerful bows strengthened with horn. 

This skirmishing ceased when the Taidjut light 
cavalry wheeled back into position behind the 
armoured ranks and the massed squadrons advanced 
at a gallop. 

Then Tern uj in loosed his Mongols to meet them. 
But he had drawn up his clans in double squadrons, 
in masses of a thousand, ten deep. Though he had 
only thirteen units and the Taidjuts sixty bands, the 
charge of his deeper formations along that narrow 
front checked the Taidjut advance and scattered the 
leading squadrons. 

Temujin was now able to throw his heavy masses 
against the lighter squadrons of his foe. The Mongols, 
separating and whirling as they went forward follow- 
ing the standard of the nine yak-tails, loosed their 
arrows on either hand. 

There ensued one of the terrible steppe struggles 
mounted hordes, screaming with rage, dosing in 


under arrow flights, wielding short sabres, pulling 
their foes from the saddle with thrown lyiats and hooks 
attached to the ends of lances. Each Squadron fought 
as a separate command, and the fighting ranged up 
and down the valley as the warriors scattered under 
a charge, reformed and came on again. 

It lasted until daylight left the sky. Temujin had 
won a decisive victory. Five or six thousand of the 
enemy had fallen and seventy chiefs were led before 
him with swords and quivers hanging from their necks. 

Some accounts have it that the Mongol khan 
caused the seventy to be boiled alive in cauldrons on 
the spot an improbable touch of cruelty. The young 
khan had little mercy in him, but knew the value of 
able-bodied captives to serve him.* 

See Note I, The Massacres, 



THE red-haired khan of the Mongols had fought 
his first pitched battle and won it. He could 
now carry with pride the ivory or horn baton, shaped 
like a small mace, that belonged by right to a general 
a leader of men. 

And he was obsessed by a hunger for men to serve 
him. No doubt this hunger had its source in the 
misery of the lean years when Borchu had pitied him, 
and the arrows of thick-headed Kassar had saved 
his life. 

But Temujin measured strength not in terms of 
political power, upon which he had pondered little 
as yet, or of wealth which seemed to be of scant use. 
Being a Mongol, he wanted only what he needed. 
His conception of strength was man-power. When he 
praised his heroes he said that they had crushed hard 
stones into gravel, overturned cliffs and stopped the 
rush of deep waters. 

Above everything, he looked for loyalty. Treachery 
was the unpardonable sin of the clansman. A traitor 
might bring about the destruction of a whole tent 
village, or lead a horde into ambush. Loyalty to the 
dan and the khan, be it said was the ultimum 
desideratum. " What shall be said of a man who will 
make a promise at dawn and break it at nightfall ? " 



An echo of his longing for men is heard in his 
prayer. The Mongol was accustomed to go to the 
summit of a bare mountain which He believed to be 
the abiding place of the ttngri> the spirits of the upper 
air that loosed the whirlwinds and thunder and all 
the awe-inspiring phenomena of the boundless sky. 
He prayed to the quarters of the four winds, his girdle 
over his shoulders. 

" Illimitable Heaven, do Thou favour me ; send 
the spirits of the upper air to befriend me ; but on 
earth send men to aid me." 

And men flocked to the standard of the nine yak* 
tails in great numbers, no longer by families and tens 
but by hundreds. A wandering clan, at feud with its 
former khan, gravely discussed the merits of Temujin 
of the Mongols " He permits the hunter to keep all 
game slain in the great hunts ; after a battle each 
man keeps his just share of spoil. He has taken the 
coat from his back and given it as a present ; he has 
come down from the horse he had mounted, and has 
given it to the needy. 19 

No collector ever welcomed a rare acquisition as 
eagerly as the Mongol khan hailed these wanderers. 

He was gathering about him a court, without 
chamberlains or councillors, made up of warlike 
spirits. Borchu and Kassar were there, of course 
his first brothers-in-arms and Arghun the lute 
player, Bayan and Muhuli two crafty and battle- 
scarred generals and Soo, the great crossbow-man. 

Arghun appears to have been a genial spirit, if 
not a minstrel. We have one clear glimpse of him 
when he borrowed a favourite gold lute of the khan 
and lost it. The quick tempered Mongol fell into a 


rage and sent two of his paladins to slay Arghun. 
Instead of doing: so they seized the offender and make 
him drink two sic in fu Is of wine. Then they hid him 
away. On the following day they roused him out of 
torpor and led him to the yurt entrance of the khan 
at daybreak, exclaiming, " The light already shines 
in thine ordu* O Khan. Open the entrance and 
display thy clemency." 

Seizing this moment of silence, Arghun sang : 

" While the thrush lings ting-tang 
The hawk pounces on him before the last note- 
So did the wrath of my lord fall on me. 
Alas, I love the flowing bowl, but am no thief I " 

Though theft was punishable by death, Arghun 
was pardoned, and the fate of the golden lute remains 
a mystery to this day. 

These paladins of the khan were known throughout 
the Gobi as the Kiyat, or Raging Torrents. Two of 
them, mere boys at this time, carried devastation over 
ninety degrees of longitude in a later day Chcp6 
Noyon, the Arrow Prince, and Subotai Bahadur, the 

Chcpi Noyon appears on the scene as the youth 
of a hostile clan, hunted after a battle until he was 
surrounded by Mongols led by Tcmujin. He had 
no horse and he asked for one, offering to fight any 
man among the Mongols. Tcmujin granted hit 
request, giving the youthful Chcp a swift white- 
nosed horse. When he had mounted, Chepl managed 
to cut his way through the Mongols and escape. 
Later he returned and said that he wished to serve 
the khan. 

Ordu, the centre of the elan, the tent 


Long afterwards, when Chcpi Noyon was ranging 
through the T'ian shan, hunting dpwn Gutchluk of 
Black Cathay, he gathered together a drove of a 
thousand white-nosed horses and sent it to the khan 
as a gift and a token that he had not forgotten the 
incident that spared his life. 

Less impetuous than young Chep but more 
sagacious was Subotai of the Uriankhi, the reindeer 
people. In him existed something of Temujin's 
grimness of purpose. Before an engagement with the 
Tatars, the khan called for an officer to lead the first 
onset. Subotai came forward and was praised for his 
action and asked to select a hundred picked warriors 
to serve as a bodyguard. 

Subotai replied that he wanted no one to accompany 
him. He intended to go alone, in advance of the 

Temujin, doubting, gave him permission to depart, 
and Subotai rode into the camp of the Tatars with 
the explanation that he had forsaken the khan and 
wished to join their clan. He convinced them that 
the Mongol horde was not in the vicinity, and they 
were utterly unprepared when the Mongols descended 
upon them and scattered them. 

M I will ward off thy foes," Subotai promised the 
young khan, " as felt protects from the wind. That 
is what I will do for thee." 

" When we capture beautiful women and splendid 
stallions, 91 his paladins assured him, " we will bring all 
to thec. If we transgress thy commands or work 
harm to thec, leave us out in the wild barren places 
to perish." 

" I was like a sleeping man when ye came to me/' 


Tcmujin made answer to his heroes, " I was sitting 
in sadness aforetime and ye roused me.' 9 

They hailed him for what he was in reality, khan 
of the Yakka Mongols, and he apportioned to each 
of the paladins praise and honours, taking into account 
the character of each man. 

Borchu, he said, would sit nearest him in the 
kurultai) the assemblage of the chieftains, and would 
be among the number that had the right of carry- 
ing the khan's bow and quiver. Others were to be 
masters of nourishment, having charge of the herds. 
Still others were masters of the ktbltkas^ and of the 
servants. Kassar, who possessed physical strength 
and not too much discrimination, he named sword- 

Temujin was careful to single out discerning men 
as well as daring for his lieutenants the leaders of the 
armed horde. He knew the value of the cunning that 
could bridle anger and wait for the proper moment to 
strike a blow. Indeed, the very essence of the Mongol 
character is its patience. The men who were brave 
and foolhardy he allowed to look after the kibltkas^ 
and the all-important supplies. The stupid were 
left to tend herd. 

Of one leader he said : " No man is more valiant 
than Yessoutai ; no one has rarer gifts. But, as the 
longest marches do not tire him, as he feels neither 
hunger nor thirst, he believes that his officers and 
soldiers do not suffer from such things. That is why 
he is not fitted for high command. A general should 
think of hunger and thirst, so he may understand the 
suffering of those under him, and he should husband 
the strength of his men and beasts/* 


To keep his authority over this court of " venomous 
fighters " the young khan needed al| his grim deter- 
mination, and a nicely balanced sense of justice. The 
chieftains who came to his standard were as unruly 
as Vikings. The chronicle relates how Bourtai's 
father appeared with his followers and his seven 
grown sons to present to the khan. Gifts were ex- 
changed, and the seven sons took their place among 
the Mongols, stirring up no end of bitterness 
especially one who was a shaman* Tebtengri by name. 
Being a shaman* he was supposed to be able to leave 
his body at will and enter the spirit world. His was 
the gift of prophecy. 

And in Tcbtcngri there was fierce ambition. After 
spending some days in the different tents of the 
chieftains, he and some of his brothers set upon 
Kassar and beat him with fists and sticks. 

Kassar complained to the khan, Temujin. 

11 Thou who hast boasted," replied his brother, 
" that no man is thine equal in strength or cunning 
why let these fellows beat thce ? " 

Vexed by this, Kassar went off to his own quarters 
in the ordu and kept away from Temujin. In this 
interval, Tebtengri sought out the khan. " My spirit 
hath listened to words in the other world/' he said, 
11 and this truth is known to me from Heaven itself. 
Temujin will rule his people for a while, but then 
Kassar will rule. If thou put not an end to Kassar 
thy rule will not long endure." 

The cunning of the priest-conjurer had its effect 
on the khan, who could not forget what he took to 
be a prophecy. That evening he mounted his horse 
and went with a small following of warriors to seize 


Kassar. Word of this reached Houlun, his mother. 
She ordered hcr^servants to make ready a cart drawn 
by a swift-paced camel, and hastened after the khan. 

She reached Kassar *s tents and passed through the 
warriors who had surrounded them. Entering the 
chief yurt she found Temujin facing Kassar who was 
on his knees with his cap and girdle taken from him. 
The khan was angry, and the fear of death had come 
to his younger brother, the Bowman. 

Houlun, a woman of resolution, undid Kassar's 
bonds and brought him his cap and girdle. Kneeling, 
she bared her breasts, and spoke to Temujin. " Ye 
two have drunk from these breasts. Temujin, thou 
hast many gifts, but Kassar alone has the strength 
and skill to shoot arrows without failing. When men 
have rebelled against thee, he has brought them down 
with his arrows." 

The young khan listened in silence, waiting until 
the anger of his mother had ceased. Then he left 
the yurt, saying, " I was frightened when I acted 
thus. Now I am ashamed/ 9 

Tebtcngri continued to circulate through the tents 
and stir up trouble. Claiming supernatural revelations 
as sponsors of his plots, he was a good deal of a thorn 
in the side of the Mongol khan. He gathered quite a 
following, and being an ambitious soul, believed that 
he could undermine the influence of the young 
warrior. Fearing to come into conflict with Temujin, 
he and his companions sought out Temugu, the 
youngest brother of the khan, and forced him to 
kneel to them. 

Tradition forbade the use of weapons in deciding 
quarrels among the Mongols, but after this act of the 


5 ' ' 

shaman> Temujin sent for Temugu*and spoke to him. 
" This day Tebtengri will come to* my yurt. Deal 
with him as pleases |hee." 

His position was no easy one. Munlik, chieftain 
of a clan and father of Bourtai, had aided him in 
many a war and had been honoured accordingly. 
Tebtengri himself was a shaman^ a prophet and a 
wizard. Temujin, the khan, was expected to play 
the part of judge in dealing with quarrels not to 
indulge his own wishes. 

He was alone in the tent, sitting by the fire when 
Munlik entered with his seven sons. He greeted them, 
and they seated themselves on his right, when Temugu 
entered. All weapons, of course, had been left at the 
yurt entrance, and the youngster caught Tebtengri 
by the shoulders. " Yesterday I was forced to 
kneel to thcc, but to-day I will try strength with 

For a while they struggled and the other sons of 
Munlik rose to their feet. 

" Wrestle not here ! " Temujin called to the two 
adversaries. " Go outside." v 

By the entrance of the yurt three strong wrestlers 
were waiting had been waiting for this moment, 
whether instructed by Temugu or the khan. They 
seized Tebtengri as he came forth, broke his spine 
and threw him aside. Without moving, he lay near 
the wheel of a cart. 

" Tebtengri forced me to my knees yesterday/* 
Temugu cried to his brother the khan. " Now, when 
I wish to try strength with him, he lies down and 

not rse." 

Munlik and his six sons went to the door, looked 

-H \\i\\ Tiirn:\T,Ki. THE MON^DI. WIXVKD. 

l-rnrii .ii i-l'i In-iuh Work .n I.itary. 


out, and saw the body of the shaman. Then 
grief troubled *he old chieftain and he turned to 
Tcmujin. " O Khan, I have served thec, until this 
day I" 

His meaning was clear, and his six sons made 
ready to rush upon the Mongol. Temujin stood up, 
He had no weapon and there was no way out of the 
yurt except the entrance. Instead of calling for aid 
he spoke sternly to the angry clansmen. " Aside ! 
I wish to go out ! " 

Surprised by the unexpected command, they gave 
way, and he went from the tent to the guard post of 
his warriors. So far the affair had been only an 
incident in the never-ending feuds around the red- 
headed khan. But he wished to avoid, if possible, 
a blood feud with Munlik's clan. A glance at the 
body of the shaman told him that Tebtengri was 
dead. He ordered his own yurt to be moved, so it 
covered the body, and the entrance flap was tied shut. 

During the next night Temujin sent two of his 
men to lift the body of the priest conjurer through 
the smoke hole at the top of the tent. When curiosity 
began to be aroused among the men of the ordu as 
to the fate of the wizard, Tcmujin opened the entrance 
flap and enlightened them. 

" Tebtengri made plots against my brothers and 
struck them, and now the spirits of Heaven have 
taken away both his life and his body." 

But to Munlik when they were alone together 
again he spoke gravely. " Thou didst not teach thy 
sons obedience, though they had need of it. This one 
tried to make himself my equal, and so I put an end 
to him, as I have to others. As for thcc, I have promised 


to spare thee from death in erery case. So let us end 
this matter." * 

There was no end, however, to the tribal warfare 
of the Gobi, to the wolf-like struggle of the great 
clans the harrying and the hunting down. Though 
the Mongols were still one of the weaker peoples, a 
hundred thousand tents now followed the standard of 
the khan. His cunning protected them, his fierce 
courage emboldened his warriors. Instead of a few 
families, the responsibility of a people rested upon 
his shoulders. He himself could sleep sound of nights ; 
his herds, increased by the khan's tithe, grew com- 
fortably. He was more than thirty years of age, in 
the fullness of his strength, and his sons now rode with 
him, looking about for wives, as he had once travelled 
the plains at Yesukai's side. He had gleaned his 
heritage from his enemies, and he meant to hold it. 

But there was something else in his mind, a plan 
half formed, a wish half expressed. 

" Our ciders have always told us," he said one day 
before the council, " that different hearts and minds 
cannot be in one body. But this I intend to bring about. 
I shall extend my authority over my neighbours." 

To mould the " venomous fighters " into one 
confederacy of clans, to make his feudal enemies his 
subjects. That was his thought. And he set about 
realizing it with all his really great patience. 

The Mongol saga of Ssanang Setzen is rather allegorical, and gives the 
impression that the events in the Gobi were caused by the prowess, the 
cunning or the treachery of a few men. In reality the conspiracy of the 
shaman lasted a tag time amd involved strong parties on both sides. It 
was a* important in its way a* the combat between church and king that 
marked the reign of Fiedcrick II and Innocent IV U Europe not long after. 



WITH the wars of the nomad clans Tatars and 
Mongols, Mcrkits and Karaits, Naimans and 
Ugurs that passed and repasscd across the high prairies 
from the great wall of Cathay to the far mountains 
of mid -Asia in the west we are not here concerned. 
The twelfth century was drawing to its end f and 
Temujin was still labouring at what his elders told 
him could not be brought about, a confederacy of 
the clans. It could only come in one way, by the 
supremacy of one clan over the others. 

The Karaits, in their cities on the caravan route 
from the northern gates of Cathay to the west, held 
what might be called the balance of power. To 
Toghrul, called Prcstcr John, went Temujin with the 
suggestion of an alliance. The Mongols were strong 
enough now for him to do so fittingly. 

" Without thy assistance, O my father, I cannot 
survive unmolested. Thou, too, canst not live on in 
peace without my firm friendship. Thy false brothers 
and cousins would invade thy land and divide thy 
pastures between them. Thy son hath not wisdom 
to see this at present, but he would be reft of power 
and life if thine enemies prevail. Our one way to 
keep our authority and survive is through a friendship 



nothing can shatter. Were I thy son also, matters 
would be settled for both of us." 

It was Temujin's right to claim adoption by the 
elder khan, and Prester John gave assent. He was 
old, and he had a liking for the young Mongol. 

To his compact Temujin remained faithful. When 
the Karaits were driven out of their lands and cities 
by the western tribes which were largely Moham- 
medans and Buddhists and cherished a warm religious 
hatred of the Christian-shamanistic Karaits, the Mongol 
sent his Raging Torrents to aid the discomfited 

And, tentatively as the ally of the old Karalt he 
essayed statecraft. 

The opportunity was an excellent one, to his 
thinking. Behind the great wall the Golden Emperor 
of Cathay* stirred in his sleep and remembered inroads 
of the Buyar Lake Tatars that had annoyed his 
frontiers. He announced that he himself would lead 
a grand expedition beyond the wall to punish the 
offending tribesmen an announcement that filled his 
subjects with alarm. Eventually a high officer was 
dispatched with a Cathayan army against the Tatars, 
who retired as usual unscathed and unchastened. The 
host of Cathay, being composed largely of foot 
soldiers, could not come up with the nomads. 

Tidings of this reached Temujin, who acted as 
swiftly as hard-whipped ponies could bear his messages 
across the plains. He rallied all his clansmen and sent 

* Thirteenth century China, which was then divided between the Chin, 
or Gold dynasty in the north and the older Sung dynasty in the south. Cathay 
itself is derived from K'itai, the Tatar word for China and the dynasty 
that had given Way to the Chin. In middle Asia and Russia to-day China u 
still called K'itai. The early voyagers out of Europe brought the name 
back with them. 


I. The Chin Empire ; II. The Empire of the Lung ; III. The Kingdom of 

Hia ; IV. The Empire oi Black Cathay. 


to Prester John, reminding his elder ally that the 
Tatars were the clan that had slain his father. The 
Karaits answered his call, and the combined hordes 
rode down upon the Tatars, who could not retreat 
because the Cathayans were in their rear. 

The ensuing battle broke the power of the Tatars, 
added numbers of captives to the victorious clans, and 
gave the officer of the expeditionary force of Cathay 
an opportunity to claim all credit for himself, which 
he did. He rewarded Prester John with the title of 
Wang Khan, or Lord of Kings, and Tcmujin with the 
brevet of " Commander Against Rebels " an emolu- 
ment that cost the Cathayan nothing at all, except a 
silver cradle covered with cloth of gold. Both title 
and gift must have astonished the hard-fighting 
Mongol rarely. At any rate the cradle, the first ever 
seen in the barrens, was put on view in the tent of 
the khan. 

New warriors joined the ranks of the Raging 
Torrents. Temujin could watch his sons go forth 
with Chcpi Noyon, the Arrow Lord, who had a 
weakness for wearing sable boots and silvered mail 
that he had plundered from a wandering Cathayan. 
Chep Noyon was never satisfied unless he was afield 
with a band of partisans to gallop after him. A good 
tutor for the eldest son Juchi the Guest born under 
a shadow, moody and defiant, and yet bold enough 
in spirit to delight the khan. 

It was the last of the twelfth century ; Tcmujin 
had led his household people on a hunt down the 
rivers toward the Karait land, flinging wide the circle 
of riders. They had driven a good number of antelope, 






some deer and lesser game, and closed the circle, 
making play with stout curved bows until the last 
living creature lay among the boulders. No dallying 
about a Mongol hunt. 

The covered kibitkas and the camel carts awaited 
them, off somewhere in the prairie, and the hunters 
returning, the oxen were unspanned. The wattles 
of the yurts were set up and the felt covering drawn 
taut over the framework. Fires lighted. 

Much of the game was to be kept as a gift for old 
Toghrul, now Wang Khan. The Karaits had been 
overbearing to the Mongols. Spoil, rightly belonging 
to Temujin's men, had been taken by the men of 
Wang Khan, and the Mongol had suffered this. 

He had too many enemies in the lands of the 
Karaits, descendants of the Bourchikoun who wished 
to oust him from the khanship and the favour of the 
Karait lord. So he was going to his foster-father. 
It had been agreed between them that if any differ- 
ence arose, one would not act against the other, but 
that they would meet together and talk quietly until 
the truth of the matter was clear to them. 

Temujin had learned much from bitter experience. 
On the death of Wang Khan he knew there would be 
war anew ; but among the Karaits were groups of 
warriors who favoured him. The bodyguard of Wang 
Khan, urged by the enemies of the Mongol khan to 
seize him, had refused. And offers of marriage had 
been 'sent to the Mongols. The Karaits had a bride 
for Juchi among the girls of the chieftain's family. 

But Temujin remained in his camp, keeping his 
distance warily from the Karait ordus, while his men 
went before him to see if the way were safe. His 


riders did not return, but two horse-herds galloped in 
at night with news of the Karaits, news both un- 
welcome and ominous. 

His enemies in the west Chamuka the Cunning, 
Toukta Beg, chieftain of the dour Merkits, the son 
of Wang Khan, and Temujin's uncles had deter- 
mined to put an end to him. They had chosen 
Chamuka as gurkhan. They had persuaded the 
ageing and hesitant Wang Khan to throw his strength 
in with theirs. The marriage overtures had been a 
ruse as Temujin half suspected. 

His efforts at statecraft had failed. He had bsen 
working, it seems, to keep the Karaits at war with 
the western Turkish tribes while he strengthened 
himself in the east ; and to keep Wang Khan allied 
to him until his eastern clans were strong enough to 
face the Karaits on an equal footing. His policy had 
been judicious, but his guile had been met by greater 
cunning, and now by treachery. 

The Karaits so the two herdsmen told him were 
drawing near his camp, intending to rush upon it 
during the night and slay him in his tent with arrows. 

The situation was nearly desperate, since the 
Karaits would be in greater force, and Temujin had 
the families of his warriors to preserve if possible. Of 
armed men he had six thousand some accounts 
place the number at less than three thousand. He had 
been warned and he lost not a minute in acting. 

He sent the guards of his own yurt through the 
encampment, rousing the sleepers,- warning the leaders, 
and routing out the herd boys. The herds were driven 
off, to be stampeded before daylight and scattered as 
much as possible. No way to save than, more than 


that. The people of the ordu hastened to mount the 
horses that were always kept at hand, and to fill the 
lighter camel carts with their chests and women. 
Without wailing or any argument began the long trek 
back to their encampments. 

The yurts and the great ox-carts he left standing as 
they were, and detached a few men with good horses 
to keep the fires burning high. With his officers and 
the best of his clansmen he retired slowly, covering 
the retreat. No chance, now, to escape the storm that 
was drawing near under the screen of darkness. 

They rode eight or nine miles toward a mass of 
hills that would offer some shelter to his men if they 
were forced to scatter. After crossing a stream, he 
halted his riders within a gorge, before the horses 
should become weary. 

Meanwhile the Karaits had swept into his deserted 
camp before daybreak and had pierced through with 
their arrows the white felt tent of the khan before they 
noticed the silence of the place, the absence of the 
herds and the standard. They had then an interval 
of confusion and consultation. The bright fires had 
led them to think the Mongols were still within the 
yurts. And when they understood the tents had been 
left, with carpets and utensils even the spare saddles 
and milk sacks it seemed to them that the Mongols 
had fled from them in fear and without order. 

The broad trail to the east could not be hidden by 
darkness, and the clans of the Karaits took up the 
pursuit at once. They went at a gallop, and they 
arrived at the foothills after dawn, with the dust 
douds rolling up behind them. Temujin watched 
their approach, and saw that they had stretched out 


in the swift ride. The clans were scattered, the best 
horses forging ahead of the slower-paced. 

Instead of waiting longer in the gorge he led out 
his warriors in close array, their horses rested. They 
crossed the stream and scattered the vanguard of the 
Karaits, and formed across the rolling grassland, 
covering the retreat of the ordu. Then Wang Khan 
and his chieftains came up. The Karaits were re- 
alined, and the desperate battle of extermination 

Tcmujin had never been harder pressed. He had 
need then of all the personal valour of his Raging 
Torrents, and the steadiness of his household clans, 
the heavily armed riders of the Urut and Manhut 
dans that had always served him* His numbers did 
not allow him to make a frontal attack and he was 
reduced to holding what little advantage the ground 
gave him which meant a last resort with Mongols. 
As the day drew to its close, with inevitable defeat 
in store for him, he called upon one of his sworn 
brothers, Guildar the standard keeper, chieftain of 
the Manhuts, and ordered him to circle the array of 
the Karaits and take and keep a hill on their left 
rear, a hill known as Gupta. 

" O Khan, my brother," responded the weary 
Guildar, " I will mount my best horse and break 
through all who oppose me. I will plant thy yak- 
tailed standard on Gupta. I will show thee my valour, 
and if I fall, do thou nourish and rear my children. 
It is all one to me when my end comes." 
| This circling movement was the favourite man- 
ioeuvre of tht Mongols, the tulughma, or " standard 
[sweep " that turns an enemy's flank and takes him 


in the rear. With his clans scattered and the Karalts 
breaking through his lines, and darkness coming on, 
it was now no more than a desperate effort of defiance ; 
but the stalwart Guildar did reach the hill and plant 
his standard, and hold his ground. It held the Karaits 
in restraint, especially as the son of Wang Khan had 
been wounded in the face with an arrow. 

When the sun set, the Karaits and not the Mongols, 
withdrew a little from the field. Temujin waited only 
to cover Guildar's withdrawal, and to gather up the 
wounded paladins two of his sons among them who 
rode in on captured horses, sometimes two men on a 
single animal. Then he fled to the east, and the 
Karaits took up the pursuit the next day. 

It had been the most desperate of Temujin 's battles, 
and he had been defeated. But he had kept the nucleus 
of his clansmen intact, himself alive and the ordu 

" We have fought," said Wang Khan, " a man 
with whom we should never have quarrelled." 

In Mongol legend it is still repeated how Guildar 
bore the standard to Gupta. 

But on the long retreat, such was the necessity of 
life in the barrens, the warriors " licking their wounds " 
on their spent horses flung out again the circle of 
hunters to gather in antelope and deer whatever 
they could reach with their arrows. No love of sport 
impelled them to do this. Food must be gleaned 
fof the ordu. 



immediate effect of the Karait victory was 
1 to strengthen the alliance against Temujin. 
Chieftains of the nomads were well inclined to ally 
themselves with a growing power ; it meant pro- 
tection and greater wealth for them. 

To Wang Khan the angry Mongol sent eloquent 

" O Khan, my father, when thou wert pursued by 
enemies, did I not send my four heroes to aid thee ? 
Thou didst come to me on a blind horse, thy garments 
in tatters, thy body nourished only by the meat of 
a single sheep. Did I not give thee abundance of 
sheep and horses ? 

" In times gone by, thy men kept the booty of 
battle that was mine by right. Then it all was lost 
to thee, taken by thy foes. My heroes restored it. 
Then, by the Black River we swore we would not 
listen to the evil words of those who would divide us, 
but would meet and talk together of the matter. 
I have not said, ' My reward is slight, I have need 
of a greater.' 

" When a wheel of an ox-cart breaks, the oxen 
cannot go forward. Am I not a wheel of thy ktbttka ? 
Why art thou angered because of me ? Why dost thou 
attack me now ? " 

65 B 


In this can be detected an echo of contempt. And 
the reproach is rather for the wavering man who did 
not know hie own mind Prester John mounted on 
a blind horse. 

Tcmujin set about making the best of things with 
his dogged determination. Couriers were sent to the 
near-by clans and soon the khans of his own domain 
and their neighbours were kneeling on either side of 
the white horse skin of the Mongol chieftain, their 
feet tucked under them decorously, their long coats 
bound with ornamented girdles, their lined, bronzed 
faces peering through the smoke of the yurt fire. 
The council of the khans. 

Each one spoke in turn, the Bourchikoun, the 
Grey-eyed Men, many of whom had tasted defeat at 
the hands of Temujin. Some wished to give in to 
the powerful Karaits and submit to the overlordship 
of Prcster John and his son. The bolder spirits raised 
their voices for battle, and offered to give the baton 
of leadership to Temujin. This counsel prevailed. 

Temujin, in accepting the baton, said that his 
orders must be obeyed in all the clans, and he must be 
allowed to punish whom he saw fit. " From the 
beginning I have said to you that the lands between 
the three rivers must have a master. You would not 
understand. Now, when you fear that Wang Khan 
will treat you as he has treated me, you have chosen 
me for a leader. To you I have given captives, women, 
yurts and herds. Now I shall keep for you the lands 
and customs of our ancestors." 

During that winter the Gobi became divided into 
two rival camps, the peoples east of Lake Baikal 
arming against the western confederacy. This time 


Tcmujin was first in the field, before snow left the 
valleys. With his new allies he advanced without 
warning on the camp of Wang Khan. 

The chronicle gives an amusing insight into the 
trickery of the nomads. Temujin had sent a Mongol 
into the enemy lines to complain of ill-treatment, and 
to say that the Mongol horde was still far distant from 
the camp. The Karaits, not too credulous, dispatched 
several riders on picked mounts to go back with this 
warrior and see for themselves the truth of the matter. 

Not far from the Kara'it camp, the single Mongol 
warrior who was keeping his eyes about him, beheld 
the standard bar of Temujin's clans on the other side 
of a knoll they were climbing. He knew that his 
captors were well mounted and could gallop clear 
if they noticed the standard. So he dismounted and 
busied himself about his horse. When asked what he 
was doing, he said : 

" A stone is in one of the hoofs." 

By the time the sagacious Mongol had relieved his 
horse of the imaginary stone, Temujin's vanguard came 
over the rise and made the Karaits prisoners. Wang 
Khan's camp was attacked and a bitter struggle began. 

By nightfall the Karaits were broken, Wang Khan 
and his son both wounded and fleeing. Temujin rode 
into the captured camp, and gave to his men the 
wealth of the Karaits, the saddles covered with coloured 
silk and soft, red leather, the thin and finely tempered 
sabres, the plates and goblets of silver. Such things 
could not serve him. The tent of Wang Khan, hung 
with cloth-of-gold, he gave entire to the two herders 
who had warned him of the Kara'it advance that first 
night near Gupta. 


Following up the centre of the Karalts, he sur- 
rounded them with his warriors and offered them their 
lives if they would yield. " Men fighting as ye have 
done to save your lord, are heroes. Be ye among 
mine, and serve me." 

The remnants of the Karaite joined his standard, 
and he pushed forward to their city in the desert, 
Karakorum, the Black Sands. 

His cousin, Chamuka the Cunning, was made 
captive afterward and brought before him. 

" What fate dost thou expect ? " Temujin asked. 

" The same that I would have bestowed upon thee, 
had I taken thee ! " responded Chamuka without 
hesitation. " The slow death." 

He meant the Chinese torture of slow dismember- 
ment that begins the first day with cutting off the 
joints of the little fingers and continues up all the 
limbs. Surely there was no lack of courage among the 
descendants of the Bourchikoun. Temujin, however, 
followed the custom of his people, which forbids 
shedding the blood of a chieftain of high birth, and 
sent away Chamuka to be strangled with a silk bow- 
string, or stifled between heavy felts. 

Prester John, who had entered the war unwillingly, 
fled hopelessly beyond his lands and was put to death 
by two warriors of a Turkish tribe. His skull, the 
chronicle relates, was set in silver and remained in 
the tent of this chieftain, an object of veneration. His 
son was killed in much the same manner.* 

A nomad chieftain might have been expected to 
content himself with the fruits of such a victory. And 
the results of a nomad conquest have ever been the 

* See Note II, Prester John of Asia, page 212. 


same a gathering of spoil, idleness or restlessness, 
then quarrels or a dividing up of the haphazard empire 
of the wanderers. 

Tcmujin showed himself made of different stuff. 
He had now a core of a kingdom in the Karaits who 
had cultivated the soil and built cities of dried mud 
and thatch, it is true, but still permanent abiding places. 
Using every effort to keep the Karaits settled and 
reconciled, he launched his hordes into new conquests 
without a moment's delay. 

" The merit of an action," he told his sons, " is in 
finishing it to the end." 

In the three years following the battle that gave him 
the mastery of the Gobi, he thrust his veteran horse- 
men far into the valleys of the western Turks, the 
Naimans and Ugurs, people of a superior culture. 
They had been the foes of Prester John, and might 
have banded together to resist Temujin, but he gave 
them no time to realize what was in store for them* 
From the long white mountains of the north, down 
the length of the great wall, through the ancient cities 
of Bishbalik and Khoten his officers galloped. 

Marco Polo has a word to say here, of Temujin. 

" When he conquered a province he did no harm 
to the people or their property, but merely established 
some of his own men in the country among them, 
while he led the remainder to the conquest of other 
provinces. And when those whom he had conquered 
became aware how well and safely he protected them 
against all others, and how they suffered no ill at his 
hands, and saw what a noble prince he was, then they 
joined him heart and soul and became his devoted 
followers. And when he had thus gathered such a 


multitude that they seemed to cover the earth, he 
began to think of conquering a great part of the 

The fate of his old enemies was hardly as desirable 
as this. Once he had broken the armed power of a 
hostile clan, the Mongol hunted down all men of the 
reigning family and put them to death. The fighting 
men of the clan were divided up among more depend- 
^ble people ; the most desirable women were taken 
as wives by his warriors others were made slaves. 
Wandering children were adopted by Mongol mothers, 
and the grazing lands and herds of the defeated clan 
turned over to new owners. 

Temujin's life, up to this point, had been shaped 
by his enemies. From adversity he had gained 
strength of body and the wolflike wisdom that seemed 
to lead him to do instinctively the right thing. Now 
he was strong enough to make conquests on his own 
account. And after the first overthrow of the men 
who faced him with weapons, he proved an indulgent 

He was entering new parts of the world, the age- 
old caravan routes and cities of Central Asia, and a 
vast curiosity stirred in him. He noticed among the 
captives men richly dressed and upright in bearing, 
who were not warriors, and he learned that they were 
savants astrologers who knew the stars physicians 
who understood the use of herbs such as rhubarb and 
the ailments of sick women. ,, 

A certain Ugur, who had served a defeated chieftain, 
was brought before him still holding a small gold 
object curiously wrought. 

" Why dost thou cling to that ? " the Mongol asked. 


" I wished," responded the faithful minister, " to 
care for it until the death of him who entrusted it 

to me." 

"Thou art a loyal subject, 11 the khan admitted, 
" but he is dead, and his land, all he possessed, is 
now mine. Tell me what this token is good for. 19 

" Whenever my lord wished to levy silver or grain, 
he gave a commission to one of his subjects ; it was 
necessary to mark his orders with this seal to show that 
they were in reality royal commands." 

Temujin promptly ordered a seal to be made for 
himself, and one was fashioned of green jade. He 
pardoned the captive Ugur, gave him a position in his 
court with instructions to teach his children the writing 
of the Ugurs, which is a form of Syriac taught, 
in all probability, by Nestorian priests long since 

But to his paladins fell the greatest reward to those 
who had aided the khan in some crisis. They were 
created tar-khans* and raised above all others. They 
had the right of entering the royal pavilion at any 
time without ceremony. They could make the first 
selection of their share of spoil taken in any war, and 
were exempt from all tithes. More than that, they 
could do, actually, no wrong. Nine times would the 
death punishment be forgiven them. Whatever lands 
they selected, they were to have, and these privileges 
would be inherited by their children, to nine genera* 

In the minds of his nomads, nothing was more 
desirable than to be one of the fellowship of tar -khans. 
They were fired by victory, by the rampaging of 
those three years through new lands, and for the 


nonce they were held in check by awe of the Mongol 

But around the person of the conqueror were 
gathered the wildest spirits of all Asia, the Turko- 
Mongol warriors from the sea to the T'ian shan where 
Gutchluk would soon rule Black Cathay (Kara K'itai). 
For the moment clan feuds were forgotten. Buddhist 
and shaman, devil-worshipper and Mohammedan and 
Nestorian Christian sat down as brothers, awaiting 

Almost anything could have happened. What did 
happen was that the Mongol khan rose above the 
limitations of his ancestors. He called together the 
kurultai, the council of the khans, to select a single 
man to rule all the peoples of high Asia. An emperor. 

He explained to them that they must choose one of 
their number to have authority over the others. 
Naturally enough, after the events of the last three 
years, the choice of the kurultai fell upon Temujin. 
More than that, the council decided that he was to 
have a fitting title. A soothsayer in the gathering now 
came forward and announced that his new name 
should be Genghis Kha Khan, the Greatest of Rulers, 
the Emperor of All Men. 

The council was pleased, and at the unanimous 
insistence of the khans Temujin assumed his new title. 



THE council had been held in 1206, and in the 
same year the official of Cathay, the Warden 
of the Western Marches, whose duty it was to watch 
over the barbarians beyond the great wall and collect 
tribute from them, reported that " absolute quiet 
prevails in the far kingdoms." Following the election 
of Genghis Khan as their master, the Turko-Mongol 
peoples were united for the first time in several 

In the high tide of their enthusiasm they believed 
that Temujin, now Genghis Khan, was in reality a 
bogdo> a sending from the gods, endowed with the 
power of high Heaven. But no enthusiasm could have 
held these lawless hordes in restraint. They had lived 
too long governed by tribal custom. And customs 
vary as much as the natures of men. 

To hold them in check, Genghis Khan had the 
military organization of his Mongols, most of whom 
were now veterans. But he announced that he had 
made the Tassa, to rule them. The Tassa was his code 
of laws, a combination of his own will and the most 
expedient of tribal customs.* 

He made it clear that he disliked particularly theft 
and adultery, which were to be punished by death. 

See Note III, The Laws of Genghis Khan, page 214, 


If a horse were stolen the punishment should be death. 
He said that it angered him to hear of a child dis- 
obedient to its parents, of the younger brother to the 
older ; a husband's want of confidence in his wife, 
a wife's lack of submission to her husband ; the failure 
of the rich to aid the poor and of inferiors to show 
respect for leaders. 

Regarding strong drink, a Mongol failing, he said : 
" A man who is drunk is like one struck on the head ; 
his wisdom and skill avail him not at all. Get drunk 
only three times a month. It would be better not to 
get drunk at all. But who can abstain altogether ? " 

Another weakness of the Mongols was fear of 
thunder. During the severe storms of the Gobi this 
fear had so overmastered them at times that they 
threw themselves into lakes and rivers to escape the 
wrath of the skies at least, so the worthy voyager, 
Fra Rubruquis tells us. The Tassa forbade bathing 
or touching water at all during a thunderstorm. 

Himself a man of violent rages, Genghis Khan 
denied his people their most cherished indulgence, 
violence. The Tassa interdicted quarrels among 
Mongols. On another point he was inexorable there 
should be no other Genghis Kha Khan. His name 
and the names of his sons were written only in gilt, 
or were not written at all. Nor would the men of 
the new emperor willingly speak the name of the 

A deit himself, raised among the ragged and 
rascally shamans of the Gobi, his code treated matters 
of religion indulgently. Leaders of other faiths, 
devotees, the criers of the mosques were to be freed 
from public charges. Indeed, a motley array of priest- 


hood trailed after the Mongol camps wandering 
yellow and red lamas swinging their prayer wheels, 
some of them wearing " stoles, painted with a likeness 
of the true Christian devil " thus Fra Rubruquis. 
And Marco Polo relates that before a battle Genghis 
Khan demanded that astrologers take the omens. The 
" Saracen " soothsayers failed to prophesy effectively, 
but the Nestorian Christians had better success with 
two little canes marked with the names of the rival 
leaders, which fell one on top of the other when lines 
from the book of Psalms were read aloud. Though 
Genghis Khan may have listened to the soothsayers 
and he listened attentively to the warnings of a 
Cathayan astrologer in later life he does not seem 
to have turned back from any venture on account of 

The Tassa dealt in simple fashion with spies, 
sodomites, false witnesses and black sorcerers. They 
were put to death. 

The first law of the Tassa is rather remarkable. 
" It is ordered that all men should believe in one 
God, creator of Heaven and earth, the sole giver of 
goods and poverty, of life and death as pleases Him, 
whose power over all things is absolute." An echo 
here of the teachings of the early Nestorians. But this 
law was never pronounced publicly. Genghis Khan 
had no wish to make a dividing line among his subjects, 
or to stir up the always latent embers of doctrinal 

A psychologist might say that the Tassa aimed at 
three things obedience to Genghis Khan, a binding 
together of the nomad clans, and the merciless punish- 
ment of wrong-doing. It concerned itself with men, 


not property. And a man, by the way, was not to be 
adjudged guilty unless caught in the act of crime if 
he did not confess. It must be remembered that among 
the Mongols, an illiterate people, a man's spoken word 
was a solemn matter. 

More often than not a nomad, faced with an 
accusation of wrong-doing, would admit it if he were 
guilty. There were instances of some who came in 
to the Khan and asked to be punished. 

In the later years of his life, obedience to the Khan 
was absolute. The general of a division stationed a 
thousand miles from the court submitted to be 
relieved of his command and executed at the order 
of the Khan brought by a common courier. 

" They are obedient to their lords beyond any other 
people," said the stout Fra Carpini, " giving them 
vast reverence and never deceiving them in word or 
action. They seldom quarrel, and brawls, wounds or 
slaying hardly ever happen. Thieves and robbers are 
nowhere found, so that their houses and carts in which 
all their goods and treasure rest are never locked or 
barred. If any animal of their herds go astray, the 
finder leaves it or drives it back to the officers who have 
charge of strays. Among themselves they are courteous 
and though victuals are scarce, they share them 
freely. They are very patient under privations, and 
though they may have fasted for a day or two, will 
sing and make merry. In journeying they bear cold 
or heat without complaining. They never fall out and 
though often drunk, never quarrel in their cups." 

(This was a matter, apparently, of some surprise 
to the voyager out of Europe.) 

* Drunkenness is honourable among them. When a 


man has drunk to excess and vomits, he begins again 
to drink. Toward other people they are exceedingly 
proud and overbearing, looking upon all other men, 
however noble, with contempt. For we saw in the 
emperors court the great duke of Russia, the son of 
the king of Georgia, and many sultans and other 
great men who had no honour or respect. Indeed, 
even the Tatars appointed to attend them, however 
low their condition, always went before these high- 
born captives and took the upper places. 

" They are irritable and disdainful to other men, 
and beyond belief deceitful. Whatever mischief they 
intend they carefully conceal, that no one may provide 
against it. And the slaughter of other people they 
consider as nothing." 

To aid one another and destroy other people. An 
echo of the Tassa. These clansmen, war-hungry and 
smarting from ancient feuds, could be held together 
only in one way. Left to their own devices they would 
soon have been at their old work of mutual exter- 
mination, fighting for spoil and pasture land. The 
red-haired Kha Khan had sown the wind and stood 
to reap the whirlwind. 

He realized this he must have realized it, judging 
by his next actions. He had been weaned among the 
nomads and he knew that the one way to keep them 
from each other's throats was to lead them to war 
elsewhere. He meant to harness the whirlwind and 
direct it away from the Gobi. 

The chronicle gives us a 
time, before the long feasting of 
an end. Standing at the foot of 


the mountain that shadowed his homeland, standing 
beneath the now familiar standard pole with its 
nine white yak-tails, he addressed the Bourchikoun 
and the chieftains who had pledged allegiance to 

" These men who will share with me the good and 
bad of the future, whose loyalty will be like the clear 
rock crystal I wish them to be called Mongols. 
Above everything that breathes on earth I wish them 
to be raised to power." 

He had the imagination to see this assemblage of 
unbridled spirits united in one horde. The wise and 
mysterious Ugurs, the stalwart Karaits, the hardy 
Yakka Mongols, the ferocious Tatars, the dour 
Merkits the silent and long-enduring men from the 
snow tundras, the hunters of game all the riders of 
high Asia, gathered into a single gigantic clan, him- 
self the chieftain. 

They had been united before, briefly, under the 
Hiung-nu monarchs who harried Cathay until the 
great wall was built to shut them out. Genghis Khan 
had the gift of eloquence to stir deep-seated emotions 
in them. And he never doubted his ability to lead 

He held before their eyes the vision of conquest 
throughout unknown lands, but he exerted himself to 
the utmost to mobilize this new horde. He invoked 
the Tassa. 

It was forbidden for any warrior of the horde to for- 
sake his comrades the men of his " ten." Or for the 
others of the " ten " to leave behind them a wounded 
man. Likewise was it forbidden any of the horde to 
flee before the standard withdrew from a battle, or to 


turn aside to pillage before permission was given by 
the officer commanding. 

(The inevitable inclination of the man in the ranks 
to loot whenever possible was met by the rule that 
they were entitled to all they found officers not- 

And the observant Fra Carpini is authority that 
Genghis Khan enforced this portion of the Tassa, for 
he describes the Mongols as " never leaving the field 
while the standard was lifted, and never asking 
quarter if taken, or sparing a living foe/ 1 

The horde itself was no haphazard gathering of 
clans. Like the Roman legion it had its permanent 
organization, its units of ten to ten thousand the 
tuman that formed a division, needless to say of 
cavalry. In command of the armies were the Orkhons, 
the marshals of the Khan, the infallible Subotai, the 
old and experienced Muhuli, and the fiery Chcp 
Noyon eleven in all. 

The weapons at least the lances, heavy armour and 
shields of the horde were kept in arsenal by certain 
officers, cared for and cleaned until the warriors were 
summoned for a campaign, when they were issued 
weapons, mustered and inspected by gur-khans. The 
sagacious Mongol did not intend to have several 
hundred thousand men loose and fully armed, scattered 
over a million square miles of plains and mountains. 

To divert the energies of his horde, the Tassa 
ordered the winter between the first heavy snow and 
the first grass to be devoted to hunts on a grand 
scale, expeditions after antelope, deer and the fleet- 
footed wild ass. 

In the spring he announced that councils would be 


held, and all the higher officers were expected to attend. 
" Those who, instead of coming to me to hear my 
instructions, remain absent in their cantonments, will 
have the fate of a stone that is dropped into deep water, 
or an arrow among reeds they will disappear." 

No doubt Genghis Khan had learned from ancestral 
tradition, and had availed himself of existing customs ; 
but the creation of the horde as a permanent military 
organization was his work. The Tassa ruled it, the 
lash of inexorable authority held it together. Genghis 
Khan had under his hand a new force in warfare, a 
disciplined mass of heavy cavalry capable of swift 
movement in all kinds of country. Before his time the 
ancient Persians and the Parthians had perhaps as 
numerous bodies of cavalry, yet they lacked the 
Mongols* destructive skill with the bow and savage 

In the horde he had a weapon capable of vast 
destruction if rightly handled and held in restraint. 
And he had fully determined to wield it against 
Cathay, the ancient and unchanging empire behind 
the great wall.* 

See Note IV, The Numerical Strength of the Mongol Horde, page 218. 

Part II 


BEYOND the Great Wall things were vastly 
different from those in high Asia. Here existed a 
civilization of some five thousand years, with written 
records extending back thirty centuries. And here 
lived men who spent their lives in contemplation as 
well as in fighting. 

Once the ancestors of these men had been nomads, 
a horse-riding people, adept in the use of the bow. 
But, for three thousand years, instead of migrating 
they had built cities, and much may be done in that 
time. They had multiplied enormously, and when 
men increase and crowd one another they build walls. 
And they divide themselves into different classes of 
human beings. 

Unlike the Gobi, the men behind the great wall 
were slaves and peasants scholars, soldiers, and 
beggars mandarins, dukes and princes. Always they 
had had an emperor, the son of Heaven, T'icn tsi, 
and a court, the Clouds of Heaven. 

In the year 1210, the Year of the Sheep in the 
Calendar of the Twelve Beasts, the throne was 
occupied by the Chin or Golden dynasty. The court 
was at Yen-king, near the site of modern Peking. 

81 ? 


Cathay was like an aged woman, sunk in medita- 
tion, clad perhaps in too elaborate garments, surrounded 
by many children, little heeded. The hours of its 
rising and sleeping were all ordained ; it went forth in 
chariots, attended by servants, and prayed to the 
tablets of the dead. 

Its garments were of floss silk, many-coloured 
though the slaves might run barefoot and cotton-clad. 
Over the heads of its high officials umbrellas were 
carried. Inside the entrances of its dwellings, screens 
served to keep out wandering devils. It bowed the 
head to ritual, and studied how to make its conduct 

Barbarians had come down from the north the 
Cathayans themselves, and the Chins, a century ago. 
They had been absorbed into the great mass of human 
beings behind the wall. In time they had fallen into 
the manners of Cathay, clad themselves in its gar- 
ments and followed its ritual. 

Within the cities of Cathay were pleasure lakes, 
and barges where men could sit with rice wine, 
listening to the melody of silver bells in a woman's 
hand. They might, perhaps, drift under a tiled pagoda 
roof, or hear the summons of a temple gong. 

They studied the Bamboo Books written in for- 
gotten ages and discussed together at long-drawn 
feasts the golden days of T'ang. They were the men 
of Chin, followers of a dynasty, servants of the sitter 
on the throne. Tradition ruled them, as it taught 
them the highest duty was to the dynasty. Even 
though they might, as in the days of Master K'ung,* 
cry out at the imperial cortege wherein the emperor 

* Confucius, 


rode with a courtesan in a carriage before the savant, 
" Lo, here is lust in front and virtue behind." 

Or even a vagabond poet, wrapped in drunken con- 
templation of the beauty of moonlight upon a river, 
might fall in the water and be drowned and be no less a 
poet for all that. The pursuit of perfection is a labor- 
ious business, but time did not matter much in Cathay. 

A painter contented himself with touching silk with 
a bit of colour a bird on a branch, or a snow-capped 
mountain. A detail, but a perfect detail. The astro- 
loger in his roof among the brass globes and quadrants, 
noted down each movement of a star ; the minstrel of 
war was contemplative. 

" No sound of a bird now breaks from the hushed 
'walls. Only the wind whistles through the long night y 
where ghosts of the dead wander in the gloom. The 
fading moon twinkles on the jailing snow. The josses of 
the walls are frozen with blood and bodies with beards 
stiff with ice. Each arrow is spent ; every bow-string 
broken. The strength of the war horse is lost. Thus is 
the city oj Han-li under the hand of the enemy." 

So the minstrel, seeing a picture in death itself, 
voiced the resignation that is the heritage of Cathay. 

War engines they had twenty horse chariots, 
ancient and useless, but also stone casters, cross-bows 
that the strength of ten men did not serve to wind 
catapults of which it took two hundred artillerists to 
draw taut the massive ropes ; they had the " Fire 
that Flies" and the fire that could be exploded in 
bamboo tubes. 

The waging of war had been an art in Cathay, since 
the days when the armoured regiments and chariots 
manoeuvred over the wastes of Asia, and a temple was 


erected in the camp for the general commanding to 
meditate upon his plans undisturbed. Kwan-ti, the 
war god, never lacked devotees. The strength of 
Cathay was in the discipline of its trained masses, and 
its enormous reservoirs of human life. As to its weak- 
ness, a Cathayan general seventeen centuries ago had 
written ominously : 

11 A ruler can bring misfortune upon his army by 
attempting to govern it like a kingdom, when he is 
ignorant of the conditions faced by the army and 
within it. This is called hobbling an army. This 
causes restlessness among the soldiers. 

" And when an army is restless and distrustful, 
anarchy results and victory is thrown away." 

The weakness of Cathay was in its emperor, who 
must remain in Yen-king and leave matters of leader- 
ship to his generals ; and the strength of the nomads 
beyond the wall was in the military genius of their 
khan, who led the army in person. 

The case of Genghis Khan was very like that of 
Hannibal in Italy. He had a limited number of 
warriors. A single decisive defeat would send the 
nomads back into their deserts. A doubtful victory 
would be no gain. His success must be decisive with- 
out too great a loss in man-power. And he would be 
called upon to manoeuvre his divisions against armies 
led by masters of tactics. 

Meanwhile, out in Karakorum, he was still the 
4< Commander Against Rebels," still the subject of 
the Golden Emperor. 

In the past when the fortunes of Cathay had been 
ascendant, the emperors had demanded tribute of the 
nomads beyond the great wall. In moments of weak- 


ness the dynasties of Cathay had bought off the 
nomads, sending them such things as silver, floss silk, 
worked leather, carved jade and caravan loads of grain 
and wine, to keep them from raiding. To manifest 
its honour, or, in other words, to save its face, the 
dynasty of Cathay would call these payments gifts. 
But in the years of power the payments demanded 
from the nomad khans were called tribute. 

The predatory tribes had not forgotten these 
magnificent gifts, nor the annoying exactions of 
Cathayan officials and the rare expeditions of the " hat 
and girdle " people from the barrier of the great wall. 
Thus the peoples of the eastern Gobi were at the 
present moment nominally subjects of the Golden 
Emperor, administered in theory by the absentee 
Warden of the Western Marches. Genghis Khan was 
entered in the roll of officials as " Commander Against 
Rebels." In due course the scribes of Yen-king, comb- 
ing over the records, sent emissaries to him to collect 
tribute of horses and cattle. This tribute he did not pay. 

The situation, you will perceive, was typically 
Chinese. The attitude of Genghis Khan may be 
described in two words watchful waiting. 

In the course of his campaigns within the Gobi, he 
had encountered the great wall and considered atten- 
tively this rampart of brick and stone with its towers 
over the gates and its impressive summit upon which 
six horsemen could gallop abreast. 

More recently, he had caused his standard to be 
displayed from gate to gate along its nearest circuit 
a circumstance to which the Warden of the Western 
Marches and the Golden Emperor paid not the 
slightest attention. But the frontier tribes, the buffer 


peoples, living within the shadow of the wall and 
serving the monarch of Cathay upon his hunting 
excursions, took full notice of this bold act and 
decided among themselves that the Golden Emperor 
was afraid of the nomad chieftain. 

This was hardly the case. Secure within their 
walled cities, the millions of Cathay thought not at all 
of the horde of a quarter million warriors. Except 
that the Golden Emperor, in the course of his continual 
warfare with the ancient house of Sung in the south 
beyond the Son of the Ocean, the Yang-tze, sent other 
emissaries to the Mongols to request the assistance of 
the nomad horsemen. 

Several tumans were lent by Genghis Khan, quite 
readily. Chepd Noyon and others of the Orkhons 
commanded these cavalry divisions. What they 
effected on behalf of the Golden Emperor is unknown. 
But they used their eyes and asked questions. 

They had all the nomad's ability to remember 
landmarks. And when they rode back to the horde 
in the Gobi they had a pretty good idea of the 
topography of Cathay. 

They brought with them, also, tales of wonders. 
In Cathay, they said, the roads ran clear across the 
rivers, on stone platforms ; wooden kibitkas floated 
on the rivers ; all the largest cities had walls too high 
tor a horse to leap. 

Men in Cathay wore vests of nankeen and silks of all 
colours, and even some of the slaves had as many as seven 
vests. Instead of old minstrels, young poets entertained 
the court not by droning hero legends but by writing 
words on a silk screen. And these words described the 
beauty of women. It was all very wonderful. 


His officers were eager to launch themselves at the 
great wall. To have gratified them, to have led his 
wild clans at that time against Cathay would have 
meant disaster for the Khan, and calamity at home as 
well. If he left his new empire and suffered defeat in 
the east, in Cathay, other enemies would not hesitate 
at all to invade the Mongol dominion. 

The Gobi desert was his, but he could look south, 
south-west and west and see there formidable foes. 
Along the Nan-lu, the southern caravan track, 
existed the curious kingdom of Hia the so-called 
robber kingdom. Here were lean and predatory 
Tibetans, come down from the hills to plunder, and 
outlawed Cathayans. Beyond them extended the 
power of Black Cathay, a kind of mountain empire, 
and to the west, the roving hordes of Kirghiz who 
had kept out of the way of the Mongols. 

Against all these troublesome neighbours, Genghis 
Khan sent portions of his horde, mounted divisions 
commanded by the Orkhons. He himself rode several 
seasons to war in the Hia country a war of raids in 
open country that convinced the Hia chieftains it 
would be well to make peace with him. The peace was 
strengthened by a blood tie one of the women of 
the royal family being sent to Genghis Khan for a 
wife. Other ties were made in the west. All this was 
caution in military parlance, clearing his flanks. But 
it won him allies among the chieftains and recruits 
for the horde. And it gave the horde itself some very 
desirable experience in campaigning. 

Meanwhile the monarch of Cathay died ; his son 
was seated on the dragon throne, a son tall and 
upcrbly bearded, interested chiefly in painting and 


hunting. He called himself Wai Wang, an imposing 
title for a commonplace man. 

In due course the mandarins of Cathay got out 
the tribute rolls for the new monarch, and an officer 
was sent into the plateaus of the Gobi to collect tribute 
from Genghis Khan. He took with him also the 
proclamation of the new sovereign, Wai Wang. This, 
an imperial edict, should have been received on 
bended knees, but the Mongol stretched out his hand 
for it and remained standing, nor did he give it to an 
interpreter to read. 

" Who is the new emperor ? " he asked. 

" Wai Wang." 

Instead of inclining his head toward the south, the 
Khan spat. " I thought the son of Heaven should be 
an extraordinary man ; but an imbecile like Wai 
Wang is unworthy a throne. Why should I humiliate 
myself before him ? " 

With that he mounted his horse and rode away. 
That night the Orkhons were summoned to his 
pavilion, with his new allies, the Idikut of the Swoop- 
ing Hawks, and the Lion Lord of the western Turks. 
The next day the envoy was called before the Khan and 
given a message to take back to the Golden Emperor. 

" Our dominion," said the Mongol, " is now so 
well ordered that we can visit Cathay. Is the dominion 
of the Golden Khan so well ordered that he can 
receive us ? We will go with an army that is like a 
roaring ocean. It matters not whether we are met 
with friendship or war. If the Golden Khan chooses 
to be our friend, we will allow him the government 
under us of his dominion ; if he chooses war, it will 
last until one of us is victor, one defeated." 


No more insulting message could have been sent. 
Genghis Khan must have decided that the moment 
for invasion was at hand. While the old emperor 
lived he had felt bound, perhaps, by feudal allegiance 
to Cathay. With Wai Wang he had no concern. 

The envoy returned to Yen-king where the court 
of Wai Wang resided. Wai Wang was angered by the 
response he brought with him.* The Warden of the 
Western Marches was asked what the Mongols were 
about. He replied that they were making many arrows 
and gathering horses. Thereupon, the Warden of 
the Western Marches was clapped into prison. 

The winter was passing and the Mongols went on 
making many arrows and gathering horses. Unfor- 
tunately for the Golden Emperor, they did much 
more than that. Genghis Khan sent envoys and 
presents to the men of Liao-tung in the northern part 
of Cathay. He knew that these were warlike spirits 
who had not forgotten their conquest by a previous 
Golden Emperor. 

This envoy met the prince of the Liao dynasty and 
a compact was sworn between them, and blood drawn 
and arrows broken to bind it. The men of Liao 
literally the men of Iron would invade the north 
of Cathay, and the Mongol Khan would restore to 
them all their old possessions; a compact, by the 
way, that Genghis Khan kept to the letter. Eventually 
he made the princes of Liao the rulers of Cathay, 
under himself. 

Some accounts have it that a Chin army was sent against the nearest 
of the Gobi clans, and this is very probably so, because we find the Mongol* 
fighting outside the wall before their advance into the Chin empire. 



FOR the first time the nomad horde was moving 
to the invasion of a civilized power of much 
greater military strength. We are able to sec Genghis 
Khan at work in the field of war.* 

The first of the horde had been sent out of the 
Gobi long since spies and warriors who were to 
capture and bring back informers. These were already 
behind the great wall. 

Next went the advance points, some two hundred 
riders scattered over the countryside in pairs. Far 
behind these scouts came the advance, some thirty 
thousand picked warriors on good horses at least 
two horses to a man three tumans, commanded by 
the veteran Muhuli, the fiery Chep Noyon and that 
surprising youngster Subotai, the Mass&ia of the 
Khan's marshals. 

In close touch by courier with this advance, the 
main body of the horde came over the barren plateaus, 
rolling up the dust clouds. A hundred thousand, 
mostly Yakka Mongols of long 'service, formed the 
centre, and the right and left wings numbered as 
many. Genghis Khan always commanded the centre, 
keeping his youngest son at his side for instruction. 

Like Napoleon, he had his imperial guard, a 

Set Note V. The Mongol Plan of Inraaion. page aaz. 


thousand strong, mounted on black horses with leather 
armour. Probably in this first campaign of 1211 
against Cathay, the horde was not in such strength. 

It neared the great wall and passed through this 
barrier without delay or the loss of a man. Genghis 
Khan had been tampering for some time with the 
frontier clans, and one of the gates was opened to him 
by sympathizers. 

Once within the wall the Mongol divisions separated, 
going into different parts of Shan-si and Chih-li. 
They had definite orders. They needed no transport 
and did not know the meaning of a base of supplies. 

The first line of the Cathayan armies, mustered to 
guard the frontier roads, fared badly. The Mongol 
cavalry divisions nosed our the scattered forces of the 
Emperor, composed mainly of foot soldiers, and rode 
them down, making havoc with arrows shot from the 
back of a hard-running horse into the close packed 
ranks of infantry. 

One of the main armies of the Emperor, feeling its 
way toward the invaders, wavered among a labyrinth 
of gorges and small hills. The general in command, 
newly appointed, did not know the country and had to 
ask his way of peasants. Chepe Noyon, moving 
toward him, remembered very well the roads and 
valleys of this district, and actually made a night 
march around the Chin forces, taking them in the 
rear the following day. This army was terribly cut 
up by the Mongols, and the remnants of it, fleeing 
east, brought fear to the largest of the Chin armies. 

This wavered in turn, and its general fled toward 
the capital. Genghis Khan reached Taitong-fu, the 
first of the large walled cities and invested it, then 


hurried on his divisions toward the reigning city, 

The devastation wrought by the horde and its 
nearness filled Wai Wang with alarm, and this sitter 
on the dragon throne would have fled from Yen-king 
if his ministers had not restrained him. The greatest 
defence of the empire was now rallying to Wai Wang 
as it always has in China when the nation was menaced 
the innumerable multitudes of the middle-class, the 
stolid and devoted throngs, scions of warlike ancestors, 
who knew no higher duty than to uphold the throne. 

Genghis Khan had broken down the first armed 
resistance of Cathay with amazing rapidity. His 
divisions had captured a number of cities, though 
Taitong-fu, the Western Court, still held out. 

But he was faced, as Hannibal before Rome, with 
the real vitality of a stout-hearted domain. New 
armies appeared up the great rivers ; the garrisons of 
beleaguered cities seemed to multiply. He passed 
through the outer gardens of Yen-king itself and 
beheld for the first time the stupendous extent of 
lofty walls, the hills and bridges and mounting roofs 
of a whole series of citadels. 

He must have seen the uselessness of laying siege 
to such a place, with his small numbers, because he 
drew back at once, and when autumn came he ordered 
his standards back to the Gobi. 

In the following spring when his horses were 
restored to strength he appeared again within the 
wall. He found the towns that had surrendered to him 
in the first campaign were now garrisoned and defiant, 
and he set to work anew. The Western Court 


was invested again and here he now kept the horde 

Apparently he used the siege as a kind of bait, 
waiting for the armies that were sent to relieve it and 
cutting them up as they came. The war made mani- 
fest two things : the Mongol cavalry could out- 
manoeuvre and destroy Cathayan armies in the field, 
but could not as yet take strong cities. 

Chep6 Noyon, however, managed to do this very 
thing. Their allies, the Liao princes, were hard beset 
by sixty thousand Cathayans up in the north, and 
appealed to the Khan for aid. He sent Chep Noyon 
with a toman, and the energetic Mongol general laid siege 
to Liao-yang itself in the rear of the Cathayan forces. 

The first efforts of the Mongols failed to gain them 
anything and Chep Noyon, who was as impatient 
as Marshal Ney, essayed a ruse that Genghis Khan 
had used in the field, though not in siege work. He 
abandoned his baggage, carts and supplies in full sight 
of the Cathayans, and drew off with his horse herds 
as if giving up the struggle or fearing the approach 
of a relieving army. 

For two days the Mongols rode away slowly, then 
shifted to their best horses and galloped back swiftly 
in a single night, " the sword in the rein hand.*' They 
arrived before Liao-yang at daybreak. The Cathayans, 
convinced that the Mongols had retired, were occu- 
pied in plundering the baggage and carrying it within 
the walls all gates open and the townspeople mingled 
with the warriors. The unexpected onset of the nomads 
took them completely by surprise, and the result was 
a terrible massacre followed by the storming of 


Chep Noyon recovered all his own baggage and 
a good deal more. 

But in pressing the siege of the Western Court, 
Genghis Khan was wounded. His horde withdrew 
from Cathay, as the tide ebbs from the shore, bearing 
him with it. 

Every autumn it was necessary for them to go back. 
Fresh horses must be gathered together. During the 
summer they had foraged men and beasts on the 
country, but a winter in north China would not yield 
enough sustenance to the horde. Besides, there were 
warlike neighbours to be kept at a distance. 

The next season Genghis Khan did no more than 
launch a few raids enough to keep the Cathayans 
from resting too much. 

The war, his first on a grand scale, had fallen into 
stalemate. Unlike Hannibal, he could not leave 
garrisons in the captured cities of the empire. His 
Mongols, unaccustomed to fighting at that time from 
behind walls, would have been annihilated by the 
Cathayans during the winter. 

A series of victories in the field, gained by screening 
the movements of his squadrons and uniting them by 
swift marches against the Cathayan armies, had 
resulted only in driving the enemy forces within walls. 
He had come within sight of Yen-king itself, in his 
effort to get at the Emperor ; but the master of the 
Chin could not be driven from the nearly impregnable 
citadel. Meanwhile the Chin armies were prevailing 
against the men of Liao-tung, and the riders of Hia 
who were supporting the flanks of the Khan. 

Under the circumstances, a nomad chieftain would 
hive been expected to let well enough alone, and to 


remain outside the great wall with his booty of the 
past seasons and the prestige of victories gained over 
the great Chin power. But Genghis Khan, wounded 
and still inexorable, was gaining experience and 
profiting by it, while foreboding began to prey upon 
the Golden Emperor. 

Foreboding grew to fear when the first grass came 
in the spring of 1214. Three Mongol armies invaded 
Cathay from different points. On the south the three 
sons of the Khan cut a wide swathe across Shan-si ; 
on the north Juchi crossed the Khingan range and 
joined forces with the men of Liao-tung ; meanwhile 
Genghis Khan with the centre of the horde reached 
the shore of the great ocean behind Yen-king. 

These three armies operated in a new fashion. They 
remained separated ; they settled down to the siege 
of the strongest cities, gathering the folk from the 
countryside and driving the captives before them in 
the first storm. More often than not the Cathayans 
within the walls opened their gates. At such times, 
they were spared their lives, even while everything in 
the open country was annihilated or driven off crops 
trampled and burned, herds taken up, and men, 
women and children cut down. 

Confronted by this war a outrance, several Catha- 
yan generals went over to the Mongols with their 
commands, and were installed with other officers of 
Liao-tung in the captured cities. 

Famine and disease, two of the four horsemen of 
the Apocalypse, followed upon the heels of the Mongol 
riders. Across the sky-line passed the train-bands of 
the horde, the endless carts, the bullock herds, the 
horned standards. 


As the season drew to its close, disease took its toll 
of the horde. The horses were weak, ill-conditioned* 
Genghis Khan with the centre of the horde camped 
near the battlements of Yen-king and his officers 
begged htm to assault the city. 

Again he refused, but he sent a message to the 
Golden Emperor. 

" What do you think now of the war between us ? 
All the provinces north of the Yellow River are in my 
power. I am going to my homeland. But could you 
permit my officers to go away without sending gifts 
to appease them ? " 

A request extraordinary on the face of it, but a 
simple stroke of policy on the part of the matter-of- 
fact Mongol. If the Golden Emperor granted his 
demand, he would have the gifts to reward his officers 
and satisfy their restlessness, and the prestige of the 
dragon throne would suffer greatly. 

Some of the Cathayan councillors who knew the 
enfeebled condition of the horde besought the 
Emperor to lead out the forces in Yen-king against 
the Mongols. What result this would have had, there 
is no telling. But the Chin monarch had suffered too 
much to act boldly. He sent out to Genghis Khan 
five hundred youths and as many girl slaves, with a 
herd of fine horses and loads of silk and gold. A truce 
was agreed on, and the Chins pledged themselves 
to allow the allies of the Khan, the Liao princes, to 
remain unmolested in Liao-tung. 

More than that, the Khan demanded if there was 
to be a truce between them that he be given a wife 
of the imperial blood. And this lady of the reigning 
family was sent to him. 


Genghis Khan did turn back to the Gobi that 
autumn, but on the edge of the desert he slew the 
multitude of captives that had been carried along by 
the horde an act of unprovoked cruelty. 

(It appears to have been a custom of the Mongols 
to put to death all captives, except artisans and 
savants, when they turned their faces homeward after 
a campaign. Few, if any, slaves appear in the native 
lands of the Mongols at this time. A throng of ill- 
nourished captives on foot could not have crossed the 
lengths of the barrens that surrounded the home of 
the nomads. Instead of turning them loose, the Mongols 
made an end of them as we might cast off old 
garments. Human life had no value in the eyes of 
the Mongols, who desired only to depopulate fertile 
lands to provide grazing for their herds. It was their 
boast at the end of the war against Cathay that a 
horse could be ridden Without stumbling across the 
sites of many cities of Cathay.) 

Whether Genghis Khan would have left Cathay in 
peace is uncertain. But the Golden Emperor acted on 
his own account. Leaving his eldest son in Yen-king, 
he fled south. 

" We announce to our subjects that we shall change 
our residence to the capital of the south." 

Thus the imperial decree a weak gesture to pre- 
serve his honour. His councillors, the governors of 
Yen-king, the elder Chin nobles, all besought him 
not to abandon his people. But go he did, and 
rebellion followed upon his flight. 



WHEN he fled with his entourage from the 
imperial city, the Chin Emperor left in the 
palace his son, the heir apparent. He did not wish 
to abandon the heart of his country without keeping 
in Yen-king some semblance of rule, some individual 
of the dynasty for the people to see. Yen-king was 
strongly garrisoned. 

But the chaos foreseen by the elder nobles now 
began to break up the armed forces of the Chins. 
Some of the troops escorting the Emperor mutinied 
and went off to join the Mongols. 

In the imperial city itself a curious revolt took 
place. The hereditary princes, the officials and 
mandarins assembled and vowed fresh allegiance to 
the dynasty. Deserted by their monarch, they resolved 
to carry on the war themselves. Thronging into the 
streets, bareheaded in the rain, the stalwart soldiery 
of Cathay pledged itself to follow the fortunes of the 
Chin heir apparent and the nobles. The old and deep 
spirit of loyalty manifested itself again in this moment, 
brought to the surface, as it were, by the flight of a 
weak ruler. 

The Emperor sent couriers to Yen-king to recall 
his son to the south. 

" Do not do that ! " the elder Chins protested. 

But the Emperor was obstinate, and his wish was 


Chep Noyon was sent at a gallop back to the 
Gobi, to quiet the chieftains at home. 

Genghis Khan detached Subotai to go and look 
at the situation. This Orkhon disappeared from view 
for some months, sending back only routine reports 
as to the condition of his horses. He found, apparently, 
nothing worth while in northern Cathay, because he 
returned to the horde bearing with him the sub- 
mission of Korea. Left to his own devices he had kept 
quiet and had circled the gulf of Liao-tung to explore 
a new country. This disposition to wander, when he 
was given an independent command, brought calamity 
to Europe in a later day. 

The Khan himself remained with the nucleus of 
the horde near the great wall. He was fifty-five years 
of age ; his grandson Kubilai had been born, back 
in the pavilions no longer the feltyurts of the Gobi. 
His sons were grown men ; but in this crisis he gave 
the command of his divisions to the Orkhons, the 
proved leaders of the horde, the men who could do 
no wrong and whose descendants, by virtue of their 
ability, were never to suffer want or punishment. He 
had taught Chep Noyon and Subotai how to handle 
mounted divisions, and he had tested the veteran Muhuli. 

So Genghis Khan remained a spectator of the down- 
fall of Cathay sitting in his tent, listening to the 
reports of the gallopers who rode to him without 
dismounting to cook food or to sleep. 

It was Muhuli aided by Mingan, a prince of 
Liao-tung, who directed the thrust at Yen-king. 
With no more than five thousand Mongols at his 
heels, he retraced his steps eastward, gathering as he 
went a multitude of Cathayan deserters and wandering 


bands of warriors. Subotai hovering on his flank, he 
pitched his tents before the outer walls of Yen-king. 

With men enough in Yen-king to have endured a 
siege successfully, and with ample stock of weapons 
and all the paraphernalia of war, the Cathayans were 
too disorganized to hold out. When fighting began 
in the suburbs one of the Chin generals deserted. 
The women of the imperial household who begged 
to go with him, he left behind in the darkness. Looting 
began in the merchants' streets, and the unfortunate 
women wandered hopelessly among bands of shouting 
and frightened soldiery. 

Fire followed, springing up in various parts of the city. 
In the palace, eunuchs and slaves were to be seen flitting 
through the corridors, their arms filled with gold and 
silver ornaments. The hall of audience was deserted, 
and the sentries left their posts to join the pillagers. 

Wang-Yen, the other general commanding, a 
prince of the blood, had received not so long ago a 
decree from the departed Emperor, pardoning all 
criminals and prisoners in Cathay and increasing the 
gifts to the soldiers. A futile last measure, it availed 
the solitary Wang- Yen not at all. 

Matters being hopeless, the general commanding 
prepared to die as custom required, lie retired to his 
chambers and wrote a petition to his Emperor, acknow- 
ledging himself guilty and worthy of death in that 
he had not been able to defend Yen-king. 

This valediction, as it might be called, he wrote on 
the lapel of his robe. Then he called in his servants 
and divided all his garments and wealth among them. 
Ordering the mandarin who attended him to prepare 
a cup of poison, he continued writing. 


Then Wang-Yen asked his friend to leave the 
chamber, and drank the poison. Yen-king was in 
flames, and the Mongols rode in upon a scene of 
defenceless terror. 

The methodical Muhuli, indifferent to the passing 
of a dynasty, occupied himself with collecting and 
sending to the Khan the treasure and the munitions 
of the city. 

Among the captive officers sent to the Khan was a 
prince of Liao-tung who had been serving the 
Cathay ans. He was tall and bearded to the waist, 
and the Khan's attention was caught by his deep, 
clear voice. He asked the captive's name and learned 
that it was Ye Liu Chutsai. 

" Why didst thou abide with the dynasty that was 
the old enemy of thy family ? " Genghis Khan asked. 

" My father was a servant to the Chin, and others 
of my family also," the young prince replied. " It 
was not fitting that I should do otherwise." 

This pleased the Mongol. 

" Well hast thou served thy former master, and so 
thou canst serve me with trust. Be one among mine." 

Some others who had deserted the dynasty he caused 
to be put to death, believing that they were not to be 
relied upon. It was Ye Liu Chutsai who said to him 
afterward ; " Thou hast conquered a great empire in 
the saddle. Thou canst not govern it so." 

Whether the victorious Mongol saw the truth of 
this, or realized that in the learned Cathay ans he had 
instruments as important as their war engines capable 
of casting stones and fire, he permitted himself to be 
advised. He appointed governors for the conquered 
i districts of Cathay from among the Liao-tung men. 



UNLIKE other conquerors, Genghis Khan did 
not settle down in the most luxurious part of 
his new dominion, Cathay. When he rode through the 
great wall after the fall of the Chins, he did not return. 
He left Muhuli there as a war lord, and hastened 
back to the barren plateaus that were his birthright. 

Here he had headquarters. Of the desert cities, 
he selected Karakorum, the Black Sands, as his ordu. 

And here he assembled everything that a nomad 
could desire. A strange city, Karakorum, a metro- 
polis of the barrens, wind-swept and sand-whipped. 
The dwellings, dried mud and thatch, arranged with- 
out any thought of streets. Around it, the domes of 
black felt yurts. 

The years of privation and of wandering were 
past. Vast stables housed in winter picked herds of 
horses bearing the Khan's brand. Granaries guarded 
against famine millet and rice for men, hay for the 
horses. Caravanserais sheltered travellers and visiting 
ambassadors who were flocking out of all northern 

From the south came Arab and Turkish merchants. 
With them Genghis Khan established his own method 
of dealing. He did not like to haggle. If the mer- 
chants tried to bargain with him their goods were 



taken without payment ; if, on the other hand, they 
gave everything to the Khan, they received in return 
gifts that more than paid them. 

Beside the district of the ambassadors was the quarter 
of the priests. Old Buddhist temples elbowed stone 
mosques and the small wooden churches of Ncstorian 
Christians. Everyone was free to worship as he 
pleased as long as he obeyed the laws of the Tassa, and 
the rules of the Mongol camp. 

Visitors were met by Mongol officers at the frontiers 
and forwarded to Karakorum with guides word of 
their coming sent ahead by the busy couriers of the 
caravan routes. Once within sight of the grazing 
herds, the black domes of the yurts, and the rows of 
the kibitkas on the treeless and hill-less plain that 
surrounded the city of the Khan, they were taken in 
charge by the Master of Law and Punishment. 

In obedience to an old custom of the nomads, they 
were made to pass between two large fires. No harm 
came to them as a rule, but the Mongols believed that 
if any deviltry were concealed in them the fires would 
scorch them. Then they were given quarters and food 
and if the Khan signified his assent were led into 
the presence of the Mongol conqueror. 

He held his court within a high pavilion of white 
felt lined with silk. By the entrance stood a silver table 
set with mare's milk, fruit and meat, so that all who 
came to him could eat as much as they wished. On a 
dais at the far end of the pavilion sat the Khan on a 
low bench with Bourtai or another wife below him on 
the left side. 

Few ministers attended him Ye Liu Chutsai, per- 
haps, in his embroidered robes, majestic enough with 


his long beard and deep voice a Ugur scribe with 
his roll of paper and brush a Mongol #0y0tf ,*honorary 
cup-bearer. On benches around the walls of the 
pavilion other nobles sat in decorous silence, wearing 
the long wadded coats with hanging girdles, the 
uptilted white felt hats, the undress uniform of the 
horde. In the centre of the pavilion glowed a fire of 
thorns and dung. 

Tar-khans, honoured above all others, might swag- 
ger in at will, and take their seat on the benches, their 
feet crossed under them, scarred hands resting on the 
stalwart thighs of horsemen. Ork/ions*-\and divisional 
commanders might join them, carrying their maces. 
Conversation would be in low, drawling voices, and 
utter silence would prevail when the Khan spoke. 

When he had said anything, that subject was 
closed. No man might add a word to his. Argument 
was a breach of manners exaggeration a moral lapse, 
and lying a matter for the Master of Punishment. 
Words were few and painstakingly exact. 

Strangers were expected to bring gifts with them. 
The gifts were taken in to the Khan before the visitors 
were passed in by the captain of that day's guard. 
Then the newcomers were searched for weapons and 
cautioned against touching the threshold of the 
pavilion, or any of the ropes if it were a tent. To 
speak to the Khan they must first kneel. After they 
had presented themselves at this ordu they must not 
depart until told to do so by the Khan. 

Karakorum now vanished under the encroaching 
sands of the Gobi was ruled by an iron will. Men 

* Noyon or not an, commander of a tuman or division of ten thousand ; 
sometimes merely a noble. 

f Orkhon. or Ur-khan, commander of an army. 







entering the ordu became servants of the Master of 
Thrones and Crowns. Other laws did not exist. 

" On joining the Tatars," said the stout-hearted 
monk, Fra Rubruquis, " I thought myself entered 
into another world." 

It was a world that moved by the laws of the Tassa, 
and awaited in silence the will of the Khan. The 
routine was all military and the utmost of order 
prevailed. The pavilion of the Khan always faced 
south, and a space was left clear on this side. To right 
and left, as the children of Israel had their appointed 
places about the Tabernacle, the people of the horde 
had their fixed stations. 

The household of the Khan had grown. In their 
tents, scattered through the ordu, waited upon by their 
own people, he had other women than Bourtai of the 
grey eyes. He had taken to wife princesses of Cathay 
and Liao, daughters of royal Turkish families and 
the most beautiful women of the desert clans. 

He could appreciate beauty in women, not less than 
sagacity and hardihood in men, and swiftness and 
endurance in fine horses. Once the attractive face and 
bearing of a girl in a captured province were described 
to him by a Mongol who did not know just where 
she might be found. " If she is really beautiful," 
the Khan answered impatiently, " I will find 

An amusing story is told of a dream that disturbed 
him a-dream that pictured one of his women plotting 
to harm him. At the time he was in the field, as usual, 
and when he waked he called out immediately : 
" Who is leader of the guard at the tent entrance ? " 

When the officer in question had spoken his name, 


the Khan gave an order. " Such-and-such a woman 
is thine, as a gift. Take her to thy tent." 

The matter of ethics he solved in a fashion all his 
own. Another concubine had yielded to the advances 
of a Mongol of his household. When he had pondered 
this, the Khan did not put either of the two to death, 
but sent them from his presence, saying, " I acted 
wrongly in taking to myself a girl of ignoble instincts." 

Of all his sons he recognized as his heirs only the 
four born of Bourtai. They had been his chosen 
companions, and he had watched them, giving each 
a veteran officer as tutor. When he had satisfied him- 
self as to their different naturer and abilities he made 
them Orluks Eagles princes of the imperial blood. 
And they had their part to play in the orderly scheme 
of things. 

Juchi the first-born was made Master of Hunting 
from which the Mongols still gleaned a great part 
of their sustenance. Chatagai became Master of Law 
and Punishment ; Ogotai was Master of Counsel ; 
the youngest, Tuli, nominally chief of the army, the 
Khan kept at his side. Juchi, whose son Batu founded 
the Golden Horde that crushed Russia Chatagai, 
who inherited Central Asia and whose descendant 
Babar was the first of the great Moghuls of India 
Tuli, whose son Kubilai reigned from the China sea 
to mid-Europe. 

The youthful Kubilai was a favourite of the Khan, 
who evinced toward him all the pride of a grand- 
father. " Mark well the words of the boy Kubilai ; 
they are full of wisdom." 

Upon his return from Cathay, Genghis Khan 


found the westerly half of his young empire highly 
demoralized. The powerful Turkish peoples of Central 
Asia, feudatories of the empire of Kara K'itai, had 
come under the hand of a gifted usurper, a certain 
Gutchluk, who was prince of the Naimans and had 
been defeated some time before by the Mongols after 
the battle with the Karaits. 

Gutchluk seems to have raised himself to fame by 
most profitable treachery. He allied himself with the 
still greater powers of the far west, and put to death 
his host, the Khan of Black Cathay. While Genghis 
Khan had been occupied beyond the great wall, he 
had disorganized the valuable Ugurs, and had slain 
the Christian khan of Almalyk, a subject of the 
Mongol. The always restless Merkits had left the 
horde and joined him. 

With Gutchluk and his brief empire* in the wide 
ranges that extend from Tibet to Samarkand, Genghis 
Khan dealt decisively upon his return to Karakorum. 
The horde was remounted on fresh horses and led 
against the Naimans. The lord of Black Cathay was 
tricked out of position and soundly whipped by the 
veteran Mongols ; Subotai was detached with a 
division to bring the Merkits to their proper sense of 
duty, and Chepl Noyon was gratified with the 
command of two yumam and orders to hunt down 
Gutchluk and bring him back dead. 

Gutchluk's empire included what was later the heart of Tamerlane's 
dominion. The military operations that brought about the defeat of the 
Naimans and Kara K'itams were on a Jai^e scale. They were brilliantly 
conceived and swiftly carruxl out. As in the last campaign in China, the 
Khan entrusted the leadership of his divisions to his Orkhons and sons. 
It would be impossible without going into the complex political history 
of this region, with its chanpfs from Ugur overlordshin to Kirghiz and Catnayao 
rule, to emphasize fully the importance of its conquest by the Mongols. 


With Chep Noyon's adroit manoeuvring among 
the ranges we need not concern ourselves. He met the 
zeal of the Mohammedans by offering amnesty to all 
foes except Gutchluk, and opened the gates of the 
Buddhist temples that had been closed by the war ; 
then he chased the emperor of a year over the Roof of 
the World until Gutchluk was slain and his head sent 
back to Karakorum with the herd of a thousand 
white-nosed horses that the energetic Mongol had 
been collecting on the side, as it were. 

The affair and it might have been disastrous to the 
Khan if he had lost that first battle had two results. 
The nearest of the wild Turkish tribes, that stretched 
from Tibet across the heights to the steppes of Russia, 
became part of the horde. After the downfall of 
northern Cathay, these same nomads held what might 
be called the balance of power in Asia. The victorious 
Mongols were still a minority. 

And the opening of the temples gave Genghis Khan 
new prestige. It was told from mountain city to 
valley camp that he had conquered Cathay, and the 
vast and shadowy influence of Buddhist Cathay was 
enveloped around his person. On the other hand, 
the discomfited mullahs were gratified that they were 
not molested and were freed of tithes and taxation. 
Under the snow summits of Tibet, within the fiercest 
amphitheatre of religious hatred in the world, bonze 
and mullah and lama were placed on an equal footing, 
and warned. The shadow of the Tassa. Envoys of 
the Khan bearded Cathayans, intoning the new law 
of the conqueror, appeared to bring order out of 
chaos, even as they were struggling to bring relief 
to Cathay behind the iron willed Muhuli. 


A courier galloped down the caravan tracks to the 
exultant Chep Noyon, bringing word that the 
thousand horses had reached the Khan. " Do not 
become proud, through success ! " 

Whether chastened or not, Chepd Noyon went on 
gathering warriors under the ranges of Tibet. Nor 
did he return to Karakorum. There was work ahead 
for him in another quarter of the world. 

Meanwhile, with the overthrow of Gutchluk, an 
armistice as sudden and decisive as the fall of a curtain 
settled down on north Asia. From the China to the 
Aral sea one master reigned. Rebellion had ceased. 
The couriers of the Khan galloped over fifty degrees 
of longitude, and it was said that a virgin carrying a 
sack of gold could ride unharmed from one border of 
the nomad empire to the other. 

But this administrative activity did not altogether 
satisfy the ageing conqueror. He no longer relished 
the winter hunts over the prairies. One day in the 
pavilion at Karakorum he asked an officer of the 
Mongol guard what, in all the world, could bring the 
greatest happiness. 

" The open steppe, a clear day, and a swift horse 
under you," responded the officer after a little thought, 
" and a falcon on your wrist to start up hares/' 

" Nay," responded the Khan, " to crush your 
enemies, to see them fall at your feet to take their 
horses and goods and hear the lamentation of their 
women. That is best." 

The Master of Thrones and Crowns was also the 
Scourge. His next move was one of conquest, terrible 
in its effect, and it was toward the west. And it came 
about in a most curious way. 

Part III 


UNTIL now the dominion of Genghis Khan had 
been confined to far Asia. He had grown up 
in his deserts and his first contact with civilization 
had been in Cathay. 

And from the cities of Cathay he had gone back to 
the grazing lands of his native plains. More recently, 
the affair with Gutchluk, and the arrival of Moham- 
medan merchants had taught him something about 
the other half of Asia. 

He knew now that beyond the ranges of his westerly 
border existed fertile valleys where snow never fell. 
Here, also, were rivers that never froze. Here multi- 
tudinous peoples lived in cities more ancient than 
Karakorum or Yen-king. And from these peoples 
of the west came the caravans that brought finely 
tempered steel blades and the best chain mail white 
cloth and red leather, ambergris and ivory, turquoise 
and rubies. 

To reach him, these caravans had to cross the 
barrier of mid-Asia, the network of mountain ranges 
that extended roughly north-east and south-west of 
the Taghdumbash) the Roof of the World. From time 
immcmorablc this mountain barrier had existed. It 

113 H 


was the mountain Kf of the early Arabs. It stood, 
vast and partially desolate, between the nomads of 
the Gobi and the rest of the world. 

From time to time some of the nomad peoples had 
broken through the barrier, driven out by stronger 
nations still father east. The Huns and Avars had 
disappeared into the ranges, and had not come back. 

And at intervals the conquerors of the west had 
advanced as far as the other side of these ranges. 
Seventeen centuries before the kings of Persia had come 
with their mailed cavalry toward the east, to the Indus 
and Samarkand within sight of the bulwarks of the 
Taghdumbash. Two centuries later the reckless 
Alexander had advanced with his phalanx exactly as far. 

So these ranges formed a kind of gigantic continental 
divide, separating the plains-dwellers of Genghis Khan 
from the valley-dwellers of the west, which was called 
by the Cathayans Ta-tsin, the Far Country. A gifted 
Cathayan general had once led an army up into these 
solitudes, but until now no army had ventured to make 
war beyond the ranges. 

Now Chep Noyon, the most impetuous of the 
Mongol Orkhons, had quartered himself in the heart 
of these ranges. And Juchi had wandered toward 
the setting sun into the steppe region of the Kipchak 
tribes. They had reported two roads through the 
mountain chains. 

For the moment Genghis Khan was interested in 
trade. The goods and especially the weapons of the 
Mohammedan peoples beyond the rampart of mid- 
Asia were a great luxury to the simple-living Mongols. 
He encouraged his own merchants subject Moham- 
medans to send their caravans to the west. 


He learned that his nearest neighbour to the west 
was the Shah of Kharesm, himself conqueror of a 
wide domain. To this Shah the Khan sent envoys, 
and a message. 

" I send thcc greeting. I know thy power and the 
great extent of thine empire, and I look upon thee as 
a most cherished son. On thy part, thou must know 
that I have conquered Cathay and many Turkish 
nations. My country is an encampment of warriors, 
a mine of silver, and I have no need of other lands. 
To me it seems that we have an equal interest in 
encouraging trade between our subjects." 

For a Mongol of that day, this was a mild message. 
To the dead Emperor of Cathay, Genghis Khan had 
sent sheer, provocative insult. To Ala-eddin Moham- 
med, Shah of Kharesm, he forwarded a matter-of- 
fact invitation to trade. There was, to be sure, 
disparagement in calling the Shah his son which in 
Asia implies a dependant. And there was a barb in 
the mention of the conquered Turkish clans. The 
Shah was a Turk. 

The envoys of the Khan brought rich gifts to the 
Shah, bars of silver, precious jade and white camel's 
hair robes. But the barb rankled. " Who is Genghis 
Khan ? " he demanded. " Has he really conquered 
China ? " 

The envoys replied that this was so. 

" Are his armies as great as mine ? " the Shah then 

To this the envoys made response tactfully they 
were Mohammedans, not Mongols that the host of 
the Khan was not to be compared to his own. The 
Shah was satisfied, and agreed to the mutual intercourse 


of merchants. Matters went well enough for a year 
or so. 

Meanwhile the name of Genghis Khan became 
known in other Mohammedan lands. The Kalif of 
Baghdad was then being oppressed by this same Shah 
of Kharesm. And the Kalif was persuaded that his 
cause might be aided by the shadowy Khan on the 
borderland of Cathay. An envoy was sent from 
Baghdad to Karakorurn, and since he must pass through 
the lands of the Shah to get there, certain precautions 
were taken. 

The chronicle has it that the authorization of this 
envoy was written on his skull with a fire pencil after 
his hair was shaved off. The hair was then allowed to 
grow, and the envoy given his message of appeal to 
study until he had it by heart. All went well. The 
agent of the Kalif reached the Mongol Khan, his skull 
was shaved again, his identity established and his 
message repeated. 

Genghis Khan paid no attention to it. In all 
probability the solitary emissary and the furtive 
appeal did not impress him favourably. Besides, there 
was the trade agreement with the Shah. 

But the Mongol's experiment with trade came to 
an abrupt end. A caravan of several hundred mer- 
chants from Karakorum was seized by one, Inaljuk, 
governor of Otrar, a frontier citadel belonging to the 
Shah. Inaljuk reported to his master that spies were 
among the merchants which may very well have 
been the case. 

Mohammed Shah, without considering the matter 
overmuch, sent to his governor an order to slay the 
merchants, and all of them, accordingly, were put to 


death. This, in due time, was reported to Genghis 
Khan who dispatched envoys at once to the Shah to 
protest. And Mohammed saw fit to slay the chief of 
the envoys and burn off the beards of the others. 

When the survivors of his embassy returned to 
Genghis Khan, the master of the Gobi went apart to 
a mountain to meditate upon the matter. The slaying 
of a Mongol envoy could not go unpunished ; 
tradition required revenge for the wrong inflicted. 

" There cannot be two suns in the heavens," the 
Khan said, " or two Kha Khans upon the earth." 

Then spies were sent in earnest through the moun- 
tain ranges, and couriers whipped over the desert 
to summon men to the standards of the horde. A 
brief and ominous message went this time to the 

" Thou hast chosen war. That will happen which 
will happen, and what it is to be, we know not. God 
alone knows." 

War, inevitable in any case between these two 
conquerors, had begun. And the careful Mongol had 
his casus belli. 

To understand what lay before him, we must look 
beyond the ranges, where lay the world of Islam and 
the Shah. 

It was a martial world, appreciative of song, with 
an ear not unmusical. A world beset by inward throes, 
slave-ridden, wealth gathering, and more than a little 
addicted to vice and intrigue. It left the management 
of its affairs to extortioners and its women to the 
custody of eunuchs, and its conscience to the keeping 
of Allah. 


It followed various dogmas, and it interpreted the 
Koran in different ways. It gave alms to beggars, 
washed scrupulously, gathered in sunlit courtyards 
to gossip, and lived largely by favour of the great. 
At least once during its lifetime it made the journey 
to the black meteorolitc under a velvet curtain within 
Mecca, the stone that was the Ka'aba. Upon this 
pilgrimage the men of Islam rubbed shoulders, 
renewed their zeal, and came home rather awed by 
the immensity of their lands and the multitudes of 
the believers. 

Centuries ago their prophet had lighted a fire that 
had been carried far by the Arabs. Since then all the 
various peoples of Islam had been united in a common 
cause conquest. The first waves of warriors had 
spread to Granada in Spain, and all northern Africa, 
Sicily and Egypt. In time the military power of 
Islam had passed from the Arabs to the Turks, but 
both had joined in the holy war against the mailed host 
of Christian crusaders that came to wrest Jerusalem 
from them. 

Now in the beginning of the thirteenth century 
Islam was at the height of its martial power. The 
weakening crusaders had been driven to the coast of 
the Holy Land, and the first wave of the Turks was 
taking Asia Minor away from the soldiery of the 
degenerate Greek empire. 

In Baghdad and Damascus the Kalifs heads of 
Islam maintained all the splendour of the days of 
Haroun al Rashid and the Barmecides. Poetry and 
song were fine arts ; a witty saying was the making 
of a man. A certain observant astronomer, Omar al 
Khayyam, remarked that men who believed that the 


pages of the Koran held all earthly lore looked more 
often upon the engraving at the bottom of a bowl. 
Even the reflective Omar could not ignore the 
splendid pageantry of martial Islam 

11 How Sultan after Sultan with his pomp 
Abode his destined hour and went his way. 9 ' 

The courts of Jamshid, the golden throne of 
Mahmoud Omar, penning his disconsolate quatrains, 
paused to wonder at them, and to speculate upon 
the possibilities of the paradise that awaited these 
paladins of Islam. 

Both Omar and Haroun had been for some time in 
their graves, but the descendants of Mahmoud of 
Ghazna ruled northern India. The Kalifs of Baghdad 
had grown rather worldly wise, indulging in politics 
rather than conquest. But the chivalry of Islam that 
could forget its inward quarrels and unite against an 
enemy of the faith was no less resplendent and high- 
hearted than in the days when Haroun had jested with 
his cup-companions. 

They lived, these scions of warlike princes, in a 
fertile world, where rivers flowing down from forested 
ranges made the sand and clay of desert beds give 
forth abundantly of grain and fruit. A warm sun 
quickened intellect, and a desire for luxury. Their 
weapons were fashioned by skilled armourers steel 
blades that could be bent double, shields gleaming 
with silver work. They wore chain mail and light 
steel helmets. They rode blooded horses, swift of 
foot but not too long enduring. And the secrets of 
flaming naphtha and the terrible Greek fire were 
known to them. 


Their life had many diversions : 

M Verse and song and minstrelsy, and wine full flowing 

and sweet. 
11 Backgammon and chess and the hunting ground, and 

the falcon and cheetah fleet. 
" Field and ball, and audience hall, and battle and banquet 

" Horse and arms and a generous hand and praise of my 

lord and prayer. 1 ' * 

In the centre of Islam, Mohammed Shah of 
Kharesm had enthroned himself as war lord. His 
domain extended from India to Baghdad, and from the 
sea of Aral to the Persian Gulf. Except for the 
Seljuk Turks, victors over the crusaders, and the 
rising Mamluk dynasty in Egypt, his authority was 
supreme. He was the emperor, and the Kalif who 
quarrelled with him but might not deny him was 
restricted to the spiritual authority of a pope. 

Mohammed Shah of the Kharesmian empire *f 
came, like Genghis Khan, from a nomad people. His 
ancestors had been slaves, cup-bearers to the great 
Seljuk Malik Shah. He and his atabegs or father- 
chieftains, were Turks. A true warrior of Turan, he 
had something of military genius, a grasp of things 
political and no end of avarice. 

We know that he indulged too much in cruelty, 
putting his followers to death to gratify impulses. He 
could slay a venerable sayyiJ, and then demand 
absolution from the Kalif. Failing in this, he could 
denounce the Kalif and set up another. Hence the 

From A Literary History of Persia, by Edward G. Browne. 

*t Kharesm hardly appears in the page's of history. Like Kara KMlai 
and the empire of the Chin, it was blotted out by the Mongols before it reached 
the full icope ol its power. 


dispute that led to the sending of an envoy to Genghis 
Khan from Baghdad. 

Then, too, Mohammed had his share of ambition 
and love of praise. He liked to be called the Warrior, 
and his courtiers extolled him as a second Alexander. 
He matched his mother's intrigues with oppression, 
and wrangled with the ivazir who administered his 

The core of his host of four hundred thousand 
warriors was made up of the Kharesrn Turks, but he 
had besides the armies of the Persians at his summons. 
War elephants, vast camel trains, and a multitude of 
armed slaves followed him. 

But the main defence of his empire was the chain 
of great cities along the rivers, Bokhara the centre of 
Islam's academies and mosques, Samarkand of the 
lofty walls and pleasure gardens, Balkh, and Herat, the 
heart of Khorassan. 

This world of Islam, with its ambitious Shah, its 
multitudes of warriors and its mighty cities, was almost 
unknown to Genghis Khan. 



TWO problems had to be solved before Genghis 
Khan could lead his army against the Moham- 
medan Turks. When he had moved to the conquest 
of China he had taken most of his desert confederacy 
with him. Now he must leave a vast empire behind 
him for several years an empire newly knit, which 
must be governed even from the other side of the 
mountain ranges. 

With this problem he dealt in his own way. Muhuli 
was keeping Cathay occupied with fire and sword, and 
the princes of Liao were busy enough restoring order 
behind him. Genghis Khan combed over the rest of 
his empire for notables in the conquered countries, 
men of family and ambition who might cause trouble 
in his absence. To each of these a Mongol courier 
was sent with a silver tablet and a summons to the 
horde. On the pretence of needing their services the 
Khan took them with him out of the empire. 

The government itself he proposed to keep in his 
own hands wherever he went. He would communi- 
cate by messenger with the council of the khans in the 
Gobi. One of his brothers he left as governor in 

This accomplished, there remained the second and 
greater problem to transport the horde of a quarter- 



million warriors from Lake Baikal over the ranges of 
mid-Asia into Persia. A distance of some two thousand 
miles as the crow flies, and a country wherein travellers 
to-day only venture with a well-equipped caravan. 
A march impossible for a modern army of that size. 

He had no doubt of the ability of the horde to 
make the march. In it, he had fashioned a fighting 
force that was able to go anywhere on land. Half of 
it never saw the Gobi again, but some of his Mongols 
marched over ninety degrees of longitude and back 

In the spring of 1219, he gave orders for the horde 
to rendezvous in the pasture lands of a river in the 
south-west. Here assembled the tumam under the 
different marshals, each man bringing with him a 
string of four or five horses. Great herds of cattle 
were driven to the pastures, and fattened comfortably 
during the summer. The youngest son of the Khan 
arrived to assume command, and in the first crisp days 
of autumn the Khan himself rode over from Kara- 

He had spoken a word to the women of the nomad 
empire : " Ye may not bear arms, yet there is a duty 
for ye. Keep well the yurts^ against the return of 
the men, so that the couriers and the travelling noyons 
may have a clean place and food when they halt at 
night. A wife may thus do honour to a warrior." 

Apparently it struck him during this ride to his 
host that he himself might not return alive. Passing 
through a fine woodland, and looking at a lofty grove 
of pines, he remarked : 

" A good place for roe-deer, and for hunting. 
A good resting place for an old man." 


He gave orders that upon his death the Tassa, his 
code of laws, was to be read aloud, and men were to 
live according to it. For the horde and his officers 
he had other words : 

" Ye go with me, to strike with our strength the man 
who has treated us with scorn. Ye shall share in my 
victories. Let the leader of ten be as vigilant and 
obedient as the leader of ten thousand. If either fail 
in duty, he will be deprived of life, and his women and 
children also." 

After a conference with his sons and Orkhons and 
the various chieftains, the Khan rode out to review 
the different camps of the horde. He was fifty-six 
years old, his broad face lined, the skin hardened. 
He sat, his knees hunched up in the short stirrups, in 
the high peaked saddle of a swift-footed white charger. 

In his up-tilted white felt hat were eagle feathers, 
and red cloth streamers hung down before either ear 
like the horns of a beast, but serviceable otherwise to 
bind on the hat in a high wind. His long-sleeved black 
sable coat was bound with a girdle of gold plates or 
cloth of gold. He rode down the lines of the assem- 
bled squadrons, saying little. The horde was better 
equipped than ever before. The shock divisions had 
their horses encased in lacquered leatherred or black. 
Every man had two bows, and a spare arrow case 
covered to protect it against dampness. Their helmets 
were light and serviceable, with a leather drop, iron- 
studded, to guard the neck behind. 

Only the regiment of the Khan's guard had shields. 
Besides the sabre, the men of the heavy cavalry had 
axes hanging from their belts, and a length of rope 
lariats, or cords for pulling siege engines and bogged- 


down carts. Kits were small and strictly serviceable 
leather sacks holding nose-bags for the pony and a 
pot for the man ; wax, and files for sharpening the 
arrow-heads, and spare bow-strings. Later on, every 
man would have his emergency rations smoke-cured 
meat, and dry milk curds. This dried milk could be 
put into water and heated. 

At present they were merely route marching. Many 
Cathayans were with them, and a new division. 
Apparently it was of ten thousand men, and its officer 
was a Cathayan, the Ko pao yu or Master of Artillery, 
and his men were skilled in building and working the 
heavy siege engines, the ballista, mangonels and fire 
throwers. These machines, it seems, were not carried 
entire, but their parts were stowed in the wagons. As to 
the /60-/tf<?,the fire-gun, we shall see it in action later.* 

Slowly, the horde moved through the smaller 
ranges, driving the cattle herds. It was about two 
hundred thousand strong too great a number to 
keep together, as they must live on the herds and the 
country. Juchi, the eldest son, was detached with a 
couple of tumans^ to join Chepe Noyon on the other 
side of the T'ian shan. The rest spread out, keeping 
to the valleys. 

Early in the march an incident filled the astrologers 
with misgivings. Snow fell before its proper time. 
The Khan sent for Ye Liu Chutsai and demanded the 
meaning of the portent. 

" It signifies," replied the astute Cathayan, " that 
the lord of the cold and wintry lands will overcome 
the lord of the warm climates." 

See Note VI. The Mongols and Gunpowder, page 224. 


The Cathayans must have suffered that winter. 
Among them were men skilled in brewing herbs to 
cure sickness, and when a lance, stuck with its point 
in the ground before a tent, showed that a Mongol 
was sick within, these savants of herbs and stars were 
called upon for a remedy. Many other non-combat- 
ants kept them company interpreters, merchants to 
act as spies later, mandarins to take over the adminis- 
tration of captured districts. Nothing was overlooked, 
and every detail had to be kept in order. Even lost 
articles had to be cared for an officer had been 
appointed for this. 

Metal work on the armour and saddles must be 
kept polished, and kits filled. The march began when 
the dawn drum-roll sounded, the herds being started 
off first, and the warriors following with the carts. 
At evening, the herds would be overtaken, the stan- 
dard of the officer commanding pitched, and the 
camp would rise around it, the warriors taking their 
yurts from the camels or carts. 

Rivers had to be crossed. The horses, roped 
together, by the saddle horns, twenty or more in a 
line, breasted the current. Sometimes the riders had 
to swim, holding to the tails. A branch would be 
thrust into the leather kit, and the lacing tightened, 
so it would float, tied to the warrior's girdle. Before 
long they could cross rivers on the ice. 

Snow covered everything, even the sand dunes of 
the wastes. Withered grey tamarisk danced under the 
wind gusts, like the ghosts of old men. The trails were 
marked by antelopes' or wild sheep's horns projecting 
through the drifts. 

Juchi's division of the horde tended off to the south, 


dropping from seven-thousand foot passes into the 
Pe lu % the Great North Road, above the T'ian shan. 
Here, on one of the oldest trade routes of Asia, they 
encountered lines of shaggy camels, bound nose-cord 
to tail, plodding along to the chiming of rusty bells 
hundreds of them laden with cloth or rice or what-not, 
following half a dozen men and a dog. 

The main body of the horde moved more slowly 
westward, dropping through gorges, and over frozen 
lakes to the icy floor of the Sungarian gate, the pass 
from which all the nomad clans have come out of high 
Asia. Here they were buffeted by winds and chilled 
by a cold so great that whole herds might be frozen if 
caught in the pass during a bur an > a black wind storm. 
By now most of the cattle had died off and had been 
eaten. The last stores of hay had vanished ; the carts, 
perforce, had been left behind, and only the hardiest 
of the camels survived. 

" Even in the middle of summer," the Cathayan 
Ye Liu Chutsai wrote, of the westward march, 
" masses of ice and snow accumulate in these moun- 
tains. The army passing that road was obliged to 
cut its way through the ice. The pines and larch trees 
are so large that they seem to reach heaven. The 
rivers west of the Chin shan (Golden mountains) all 
run to the west." 

To protect them, the hoofs of the unshod ponies 
were bound up in strips of yak skins. The horses 
seemed to suffer from the lack of fodder, and began 
to bleed at the veins. 

Entering the western ranges beyond the Gate of 
the Winds, the warriors cut down trees, hewing out 
massive timbers to be used in bridging the gorges. 


The ponies dug up moss and dry grass with their hoofs 
from under the snow. The hunters went afield for 
game. Forging ahead in the utter cold of high Asia, 
a quarter-million men endured hardships that would 
have put a modern division into hospital. The Mongols 
did not mind it particularly. Wrapped up in their 
sheepskins and leather, they could sleep under drifting 
snow ; at need, the round, heavy yurts warmed them. 
When food failed, they opened a vein in a horse, 
drank a small quantity of blood and closed the vein. 

On they went, scattered over a hundred miles of 
mountain country, the sledges rolling in their wake, 
the bones of dead animals marking their trail. 

Before the snow melted they were out on the western 
steppes, riding more swiftly around bleak Lake Bal- 
kash. By the time the first grass showed, they were 
threading into the last barrier of the Kara Tau, the 
Black Range. On lean horses, they finished the first 
twelve hundred miles of their march. 

Now the various divisions closed up, liaison officers 
began to gallop back and forth between the com- 
mands ; the nondescript-looking merchants rode off 
in groups of two or three to hunt for information. A 
screen of scouts was thrown ahead of each column. 

Men overhauled their kits, counted arrows, laughed 
and gathered around the fires where the minstrels 
knelt, droning their chants of departed heroes and 
strange magic. 

Through the forests, they could sec below them the 
first frontier of Islam, the wide river Syr, now swollen 
by spring freshets. 



MEANWHILE Juchi and Chepd Noyon had 
had a pitched battle with the Mohammedans 
under the Roof of the World. It is worth telling about. 

The Mohammedan Shah was in the field before 
the Mongols. Fresh from victories in India, he had 
mustered his host of four hundred thousand. He had 
gathered his atabegs, and strengthened his Turks with 
contingents of Arabs and Persians. This host he had 
led north, searching for the Mongols who were not 
yet on the scene. He met and attacked some of 
Chepd Noyon's patrols who were not aware of the 
war, and the appearance of these fur-clad nomads on 
their shaggy ponies aroused the contempt of the much 
better clad Kharesmians. When his spies brought him 
accounts of the horde, the Shah did not alter his 
opinion. " They have conquered only unbelievers 
now the banners of Islam are arrayed against them." 

Soon the Mongols were visible. Raiding detach- 
ments descended the heights toward the wide river 
Syr. They appeared at villages in fertile valleys, 
driving off the herds, gathering up all available grain 
and foodstuffs ; they set fire to the dwellings and 
retired in the smoke. Their carts and herds were sent 
back to the north with detachments of warriors and 
a day later they rode into a village fifty miles away. 

129 i 


These were the advance foragers, collecting supplies 
for the main army. There was no telling where they 
came from, or whither they went. They had been 
sent out by Juchi who was approaching through a long 
valley chain from the east, on the Pe Lu. Having an 
easier route than the main body of the horde, he was 
passing through the last ranges a little in advance of 
his father's horde. 

Mohammed Shah left the bulk of his host at the 
Syr and pushed up the river toward its head-waters, 
working east through the ranges. Whether he learned 
of Juchi J s advance from his scouts, or stumbled against 
this Mongol division by accident, he encountered it 
squarely in that long valley hemmed in by the forested 
bulwarks of the mountains. 

His army was several times the strength of the 
Mongol division, and Mohammed beholding for the 
first time the dark mass of fur and leather clad warriors 
without shields or chain mail thought only of 
launching his attack before the strange horsemen 
could escape. 

His disciplined Turks mustered in battle formation, 
and the long trumpets and cymbals sounded. 

Meanwhile the Mongol general with Juchi advised 
the Mongol prince to retire at once and try to draw 
the Turks after him toward the main body of the 
horde. But the eldest son of the Khan gave the order 
to charge the Mohammedans. " If I flee, what then 
dull I say to my father ? " 

He was in command of the division, and when the 
order had been given the Mongols got them to horse 
without protest. Genghis Khan would never have 
suffered himself to be caught thus in the valley, or 


being caught would have drawn back until the array 
of the Shah had scattered in pursuit of him. But the 
headstrong Juchi shot his men forward, the suicide 
squad* first in the advance, the heavy shock cavalry 
following, swords in the rein hands and long lances in 
the right hands. The lighter squadrons covered his 

Being thus launched forward, without room for 
manoeuvring, or time for their favourite play of arrows, 
the Mongol horsemen drove in grimly, using their 
heavier, slightly curved swords against the scimitars 
of the Turks. 

The chronicle relates that the losses of the Moham- 
medans were beyond all counting, and as the Mongol 
advance penetrated within the centre of the Turks, 
the Shah himself was in danger. He saw within arrow 
flight the horned standards of the horde, and only 
the desperate efforts of his household divisions saved 
him from death. And Juchi's life was saved, so the 
story runs, by a Cathayan prince who was serving in 
his command. 

Meanwhile the Mongol flanks had been driven in, 
and Jelal ed-Din, the favourite of the Kharesmian 
army, the eldest son of the Shah a true Turk, small 
and slender and dark, loving only hard drinking 
and sword-play drove home a counter charge that 
forced back the standards of the Mongols. The hosts 
of horsemen separated, at the end of the day, and 
during the night the Mongols played one of their 
customary tricks. They either set fire to the grass in 
the valley, or kept their own camp fires burning high 
as long as darkness lasted. Meanwhile Juchi and his 

The M**g*da*, or " God-belonging " squadron, pro-doomed. 


men had withdrawn, mounting fresh horses and 
making a march of two days in that night. 

Sunrise found Mohammed and his battered squad- 
rons occupying a valley filled with the bodies of the 
slain. The Mongols had vanished. 

A ride over the battlefield filled the hitherto 
victorious Turks with misgivings. The chronicle says 
they lost 160,000 men in this first battle a number 
certainly exaggerated, but evidence of the effect of 
the Mongol impact upon them and Mohammedan 
warriors were always influenced by success or failure 
at the commencement of a campaign. Upon the 
Shah himself the influence of the terrible struggle in 
the valley was no less great. " A fear of these un- 
believers was planted in the heart of the Sultan, and 
an estimation of their courage. If anyone spoke of 
them before him, he said that he had never seen men 
as daring and as steadfast in the throes of battle, or as 
skilled in giving blows with the point and edge of 
their swords." 

No longer did the Shah think of searching for the 
horde in the high valleys. The country, arid in any 
case, had been combed over by the Mongol foragers, 
and could not support an army as large as his. But 
more than this, his dread of the strange foemen 
impelled him to turn back to his fortified towns along 
the river Syr. He sent south for reinforcements, 
especially for bowmen. He announced that he had 
won a complete victory, and in token thereof distri- 
buted robes of honour among the officers who had 
attended him. 

Genghis Khan listened to a courier's report of the 
first conflict. He praised Juchi and sent him a 


supporting force of five thousand, with instructions to 
follow after Mohammed. 

The Mongols of Juchi the detached left wing of 
the horde were riding through one of the garden 
spots of high Asia, where every stream had its white 
walled village and watch-tower. Here grew melons 
and strange fruits ; the slender towers of minarets 
uprose in growths of willows and poplars. To right 
and left were mellow foothills, with cattle grazing on 
the slopes. Behind them, the white summits of the 
higher ranges reared against the sky. 

" Kudjan (Khokand) abounds in pomegranates/* 
the observant Ye Liu Chutsai noted down in his 
geography of the journey. " They are as large as 
two fists and of a sour-sweet taste. People take the 
fruit and press out the juice into a vessel a delicious 
beverage for slaking thirst. Their water-melons 
weigh fifty pounds, and two are a load for a 

After the winter in the fro/en passes, this was luxury 
indeed for the Mongol horsemen. The river widened, 
and they came upon a large walled city, Khojend. 
Here the supporting division of five thousand awaited 
them, while laying siege to Khojend. 

The commander of the Turks in the city was a 
man of valour, Timur Malik, the Iron Lord. He had 
withdrawn to an island with a thousand picked men 
and had dug himself in. Events took a peculiar turn. 

Here the river was wide, the island fortified. Timur 
Malik had taken with him all available boats ; there 
were no bridges. The Mongols had orders not to 
leave a fortified city behind them. And they could 



WHEN the Shah rode down from the higher 
ranges, he turned north toward the Syr with 
his host, waiting for the arrival of the horde itself, 
intending to give battle when it attempted to cross 
the river. But he waited in vain. 

To appreciate what happened now we must glance 
at the map. This northern portion of Mohammed's 
empire was half fertile valley land, half arid and 
sandy plains, cut up into strata of red clay, dust- 
covered and lifeless. So the cities existed only along 
the rivers and within the hills. 

Two mighty rivers flowed north-west across this 
desert floor, to empty their waters six hundred miles 
away into the salt sea of Aral. The first of these rivers 
was the Syr, the Jaxartes of the ancients. And here 
were walled cities joined by caravan roads a kind of 
chain of human life and dwellings extending through 
the barrens. The second river, to the south, was the 
Amu, once called the Oxus. And near this stood the 
citadels of Islam, Bokhara and Samarkand. 

The Shah was encamped behind the Syr, unable to 
learn whither the Mongols were moving. He expected 
fresh armies from the south and the revenues of a 
new tax levy. This mobilization was interrupted by 
alarming news. Mongols had been seen descending 



from the high passes two hundred miles to his right, 
and almost in his rear. 

What had happened was that Chepd Noyon, leaving 
Juchi, had crossed the mountains to the south had 
stolen up on the Turkish contingents that were 
watching this route into Kharesm, and was now 
marching swiftly around the glaciers of the Amu 
head-waters. And, not more than a couple of hundred 
miles distant, Samarkand lay in his path. Chep 
Noyon had no more than twenty thousand men with 
him, but the Shah could not know this. 

Mohammed, instead of being reinforced, was now 
in a fair way to be cut off from his second and main 
line of defence, the Amu with its great cities, Bokhara 
and Samarkand. Aroused by the new danger, Moham- 
med did something for which he has been severely 
criticized by Mohammedan chroniclers in later years. 
He split up half his host among the fortified cities. 

Some 40,000 were sent to strengthen the garrisons 
along the Syr, and he marched south with the bulk 
of his forces, detaching 30,000 toward Bokhara, and 
leading the rest to Samarkand, the menaced point. 
He did this, assuming that the Mongols would not 
be able to storm his citadels, and would retire after 
a season of raiding and plundering. He was mistaken 
in both surmises. 

Even before this two sons of the Khan had appeared 
at Otrar, down the Syr to the north. Otrar, whose 
governor had put to death Mongol merchants. 
Inaljuk, who had ordered the execution of the mer- 
chants, was still governor of the city. Knowing that 
he had little mercy to expect from the Mongols, he 
shut himself up in the citadel with the best of his men, 


and held out for five months. He fought to the end, 
taking refuge in a tower when the Mongols had cut 
down or captured the last of his men ; and when his 
arrows gave out, he still hurled stones down on his 
foes. Taken alive, in spite of this desperation, he was 
sent to the Khan, who ordered molten silver to be 
poured into his eyes and ears the death of retri- 
bution. The walls of Otrar were razed and all its 
people driven away. 

While this was going on, a second Mongol army 
approached the Syr and took Tashkent. A third 
detachment scoured the northern end of the Syr, 
storming the smaller towns. The Turkish garrison 
abandoned Jend, and the townspeople surrendered 
when the Mongols planted their ladders and swarmed 
along the walls. In such cases in this first year of the 
war, the warriors of the Shah, the Turkish garrisons, 
were massacred by the Mongols, the townspeople 
who were native Persians for the most part driven 
out of the city, which was then plundered at leisure. 

Then the captives would be sorted out, the strong 
young men kept to labour at siege work in the next 
city, the artisans to do skilled wcrk for the conquerors. 
In one case, where a Mohammedan merchant, an 
envoy of the Mongols, had been torn to pieces by the 
men of a town, the terrible Mongol storm was begun 
the attack that is never allowed to cease, fresh 
warriors taking the place of the slain, until the place 
was carried and its people slain with the sword or 

Genghis Khan did not appear at all along the Syr. 
He vanished from sight, taking the centre of the horde 
with him. No one knows where he crossed the river, 


or where he went. But he must have made a wide 
circle through the Red Sands desert, because he 
appeared out of the barrens, marching swiftly on 
Bokhara jrom the west. 

Mohammed was not merely outflanked. He was 
in danger of being cut off from his southern armies, 
his son and reinforcements and the rich lands of 
Khorassan and Persia. While Chep Noyon was 
advancing from the east, Genghis Khan was moving 
in from the west, and the Shah at Samarkand might 
well ^feel that the jaws of a trap were closing in on him. 

In this predicament, he divided his main army 
between Bokhara and Samarkand, sending other of 
his atabegs to Balkh and Kunduz. With no more 
than his own attendant nobles, his elephants and camels 
and household troops, he left Samarkand. And he 
took with him his treasure and his family, intending 
to return at the head of a fresh army. 

In this expectation, also, he was disappointed. 

Mohammed, the Warrior, called by his people a 
second Alexander, had been thoroughly outgeneralled. 
The Mongols under the sons of the Khan, carrying 
fire and sword along the Syr, had been no more than 
so many masks for the real attacks thrust home by 
Chep Noyon and Genghis Khan. 

The Khan hastened out of the desert so eager to 
make haste that he did not linger to molest the little 
towns in his path, and asked only water for his horses. 
He expected to surprise Mohammed at Bokhara ; but 
when he arrived he learned that the Shah had fled. 
He was confronted by one of the strongholds of Islam, 
the city of academies, by a wall twelve leagues so 


says the chronicle in circuit, through which ran a 
fair river, lined with gardens and pleasure houses. It 
was garrisoned by some 20,000 Turks and a multitude 
of Persians, and honoured by many an imam and 
tayyidj the savants of Islam, the interpreters of the 
Book to be Read, 

It had within it a latent fire, the zeal of the devout 
Mohammedans, who were at present in a very mixed 
frame of mind. The wall was too strong to be carried 
by assault, and if the mass of the inhabitants had 
chosen to defend it, months might have passed before 
the Mongols could have won a foothold upon it. 

Genghis Khan had said with much truth, " The 
strength of a wall is neither greater nor less than the 
courage of the men who defend it." In this case, the 
Turkish officers chose to leave the townspeople to 
their fate and escape to join the Shah. So they went 
out, with the soldiery of the Shah at night, by the 
water gate, and headed toward the Amu. 

The Mongols suffered them to pass, but three 
tumans followed them and came up with them at the 
river. Here the Turks were attacked and nearly all 
of them put to the sword. 

Abandoned by the garrison, the elders of the city, 
the judges and imams, consulted together and went 
out to face the strange Khan, yielding him the keys 
of the city, and receiving his promise that the lives 
of the inhabitants should be spared. The governor 
with the remaining warriors shut himself up in the 
citadel, which was at once beset by the Mongols, who 
shot flaming arrows into the place until the roofs of 
the palaces caught fire. 

A flood of horsemen filled the wide streets of the 


city, breaking into the granaries and storehouses, 
stabling their horses in the libraries, to the frantic 
sorrow of the Mohammedans who beheld more than 
once the sacred leaves of the Koran trodden under 
the hoofs of the ponies. The Khan himself drew rein 
before an imposing building, the great mosque of the 
city, and asked if it were the house of the emperor. 
He was told that it was the house of Allah. 

At once he rode his horse up the steps and into the 
mosque, dismounting, and ascending to the reader's 
desk with its giant Koran. Here, in his black lacquer 
armour and leather-curtained helmet, he addressed 
the assembled mullahs and scholars, who had expected 
to behold fire descend from Heaven to blast this 
ungainly figure in strange armour. 

" I have come to this place," he said to them, 
" only to tell you that you must find provender for 
my army. The countryside is bare of hay and grain, 
and my men are suffering from want. Open, then, 
the doors of your storehouses."* 

But when the Mohammedan elders hastened from 
the mosque they found the warriors of the Gobi 
already installed in the granaries, and the horses stabled. 
This portion of the horde had made a forced march 
over the desert floor for too many days to linger upon 
the threshold of plenty. 

From the mosque, the Khan went to the city square 
where orators were accustomed to assemble an audience 
to lecture upon matters of science or doctrine. 

" Who is this man ? " demanded a newcomer, of a 
venerable sayyid. 

This passage is almost invariably misquoted in histories, and riven as 
follow* : " Genghis Khan rode into the mosque and shouted to his men, 
The hay is cut give your horses fodder.' " 


" Hush ! " whispered the other. " It is the anger 
of God that descends upon us." 

The Khan a man who knew well how to address 
a multitude, says the chronicle ascended the speaker's 
rostrum and faced the people of Bokhara. First he 
questioned them closely about their religion, and com- 
mented gravely that it was a mistake to make the 
pilgrimage to Mecca. " For the power of Heaven is 
not in one place alone, but in every corner of the 

The old chieftain, shrewd in gauging the moods of 
his listeners, fanned the superstitious dread of the 
Mohammedans. To them he appeared as a pagan 
devastator, an incarnation of uncouth and barbaric 
power, a little grotesque. Bokhara had seen none 
but the devout within its walls. 

" The sins of your emperor are many," he assured 
them. " I have come I, the wrath and the flail of 
Heaven, to destroy him as other emperors have been 
crushed. Do not give him protection or aid." 

He waited for the interpreter to explain his words. 
The Mohammedans seemed to him to be like the 
Cathayans, builders of cities, makers of books. Useful 
in furnishing him with provisions, in yielding up their 
wealth in giving him information about the rest of 
the world ; useful in giving labourers and slaves to 
his men artisans to send back to the Gobi. 

" You have done well," he went on, " in supplying 
my army with food. Bring now to my officers the 
precious things you have hidden away. Do not 
trouble about what is lying loose in your houses we 
will take care of that." 

The rich men of Bokhara were placed under guard 


of Mongols who did not leave them, day or night. 
Some, on suspicion that they had not brought out all 
their concealed wealth, were tortured. The Mongol 
officers called for dancing girls and musicians to play 
Mohammedan pieces. Sitting gravely, wine cup in 
hand, in the mosques and palaces, they watched this 
spectacle of the entertainment of the people who lived 
in cities and gardens. 

The garrison in the citadel held out bravely and 
inflicted losses that angered the Mongols before the 
governor and his^followers were cut down. When 
the last valuables had been retrieved from cellars and 
wells and dug up from the earth, the inhabitants 
were driven out into the plain. The Mohammedan 
chronicler gives us a clear glimpse of the misery of 
his people. 

" It was a fearful day. One heard only the weeping 
of men, women and children, who were to be separated 
for ever ; women were ravished by the barbarians 
under the eyes of those who had no resource save 
sorrow ; some of the men, rather than witness the 
shame of their families, rushed upon the warriors 
and died fighting." 

Different parts of the city were fired, and the 
flames swept through the dry structures of wood and 
baked clay, a pall of smoke rising over Bokhara, hiding 
the sun. The captives were driven toward Samarkand, 
and, unable to keep up with the mounted Mongols, 
suffered terribly during the brief march. 

Genghis Khan only stayed two hours in Bokhara, 
hastening on to seek the Shah in Samarkand. On the 
way he was met by the detachments of the horde from 


the Syr, and his sons gave him the tidings of the 
capture of the cities along the northern line. 

Samarkand was the strongest of the Shah's cities. 
He had started building a new wall, massive in size, 
about the circuit of its gardens. But the swift advance 
of the Mongols found the new rampart unfinished. 
The old defences were formidable enough, including 
twelve iron gates flanked by towers. Twenty armoured 
elephants and one hundred and ten thousand warriors, 
Turks and Persians, had been left to guard it. The 
Mongols were less numerous than the garrison, and 
Genghis Khan made preparations for a long siege 
assembling the people of the countryside and the 
captives from Bokhara to aid in the work. 

If the Shah had remained with his men, or if an 
officer like Timur Malik had been in command, 
Samarkand might well have held out as long as food 
lasted. But the swift and methodical preparations of 
the Mongols alarmed the Mohammedans, who beheld 
in the distance the vast multitude of captives, and 
thought the horde much greater than it was. The 
garrison sallied out once was drawn on into one of 
the usual Mongol ambushes and fared badly. The 
losses in this battle disheartened the defenders and 
the imams and judges went out, on the morning the 
Mongols were preparing to storm one portion of the 
wall, and surrendered the city. Thirty thousand 
Kankali Turks on their own account went over to the 
Mongols were received amiably, given Mongol mili- 
tary dress and massacred a night or two later. The 
Mongols would never trust the Turks of Kharesm, 
especially those who turned traitor. 

When the skilled labourers of the city had been 


led out to the horde and able-bodied men picked for 
other work, the rest of the inhabitants were suffered 
to go back to their houses. But a year or so later 
they were summoned to the horde. 

Ye Liu Chutsai writes of Samarkand, " Around the 
city to an extent of several scores of miles there are 
everywhere orchards, groves, flower gardens, aque- 
ducts, running springs, square basins and round ponds 
in uninterrupted succession. Indeed, Samarkand is a 
delicious place." 



AT Samarkand it was reported to Genghis Khan 
that Mohammed Shah had forsaken the city 
and gone south. The Mongol was determined to make 
the Shah captive before new armies could be raised 
against the invaders. He had failed to come up with 
the monarch of Kharcsm, and now he sent for Chcp 
Noyon and Subotai and gave them orders. 

" Follow Mohammed Shah wherever he goes in 
the world. Find him, alive or dead. Spare the cities 
that open their gates to you but take by assault those 
that resist. I think you will not find this as difficult 

as it seems." 

A strange task, to hunt down an emperor through a 
dozen kingdoms. It was a task, indeed, for the most 
reckless and the most infallible of the Orkhons. They 
were given two tumans, twenty thousand men. With 
these instructions and with this cavalry division, the 
two Orkhons set out at once toward the south. It was 
then April, 1220, the Year of the Serpent. 

Mohammed had gone south from Samarkand to 
Balkh, on the edge of the lofty ranges of Afghanistan. 
As usual, he vacillated. Jelal ed-Din was far off in 
the north, raising a new army among the warriors of 
the desert country near the sea of Aral. But Genghis 



Khan, at Bokhara, was between the Shah and this 
possible rallying point. 

He thought of entering the Afghan country, where 
warlike clans awaited him. Finally, hesitating between 
varied counsel and his own dread, he turned due west, 
crossing the barrens to the mountain region of 
northern Persia, and arrived at Nisapur, putting, as 
he thought, five hundred miles between him and the 
Mongol horde. 

Chcprf Noyon and Subotai found a strong city 
barring the passage of the Amu ; they swam their 
horses across, and learned from scouts in the advance 
that Mohammed had forsaken Balkh. So they turned 
west, into the barrens, separating for greater protection 
and to obtain all possible grazing for their horses. 

Every man of the two picked tumans had several 
horses, in good condition, and the grass along the 
scattered streams and wells was fresh. They must have 
covered eighty miles a day, changing to untired horses 
several times during the day, and dismounting only at 
sunset to eat cooked food. At the end of the barrens 
they encountered the rose gardens and white walls of 
ancient Mcrv. 

Satisfying themselves that the Shah could not be in 
this city, they galloped down to Nisapur, coming in 
three weeks after Mohammed who had learned of 
their mission, and fled on pretence of a hunting 
expedition. Nisapur closed its gates and the Orkhons 
assaulted it furiously. They failed to carry the walls 
but became certain that the Shah was not within its 

They picked up the scent again, and headed west 
along the caravan route that leads to the Caspian, 


scattering the remnants of the Shah's armies that had 
chosen this way to safety from the Mongol terror. 
Near modern Teheran they met and defeated a 
Persian army, thirty thousand strong. 

Again they separated all trace of the fleeing 
emperor vanished for the moment Subotai tending 
north through the mountain region, Chcpd No yon 
galloping south along the edge of the salt desert. 
They had passed out of Kharesm proper had outrun 
the very tidings of their coming. 

Mohammed, meanwhile, had sent away first his 
family, then his treasure. He left the caskets contain- 
ing his jewels at a fortress where the Mongols found 
them later and decided to journey to Baghdad, to 
Baghdad where ruled the very Kalif with whom he had 
quarrelled in other days. He picked up men here and 
there, a following of a few hundred. He followed the 
great road that leads to Baghdad. 

But at Hamad an the Mongols appeared at his heels. 
His men were scattered and ridden down, and a few 
arrows shot at him the Mongols unaware of his 
identity. He escaped and doubled back toward the 
Caspian. Some of his Turkish warriors grew discon- 
tented and rebellious, and Mohammed saw fit to sleep 
in a small tent pitched beside his own. And one 
morning he found the empty tent filled with arrows. 

" Is there no place on earth," he asked an officer, 
" where I can be safe from the Mongol thunderbolt ? " 

He was advised to take ship on the Caspian and go 
out to an island where he could be hidden until his 
sons and atabegs could collect an army strong enough 
to defend him. 

This Mohammed did. Disguising himself, with a 


few nondescript followers, he passed through the 
gorges, seeking a small town on the western shore of 
the Caspian a place of fishermen and merchants, 
tranquil enough. But the Shah, weary and ill, deprived 
of his court, his slaves and cup companions, would not 
sacrifice the prestige of his name. He insisted on 
reading the public prayers in the mosque, and his 
identity did not long remain a secret. 

A Mohammedan, who once suffered oppression at 
the hand of the Shah, betrayed him to the Mongols 
who had scattered another Persian army at Kasvin, 
and were questing after Mohammed through the 
hills. They rode into the town that had sheltered him, 
as he was preparing to enter a fishing skiff. 

Arrows flew, but the boat drew away from the 
shore and some of the nomads in their rage actually 
urged their horses into the water. They swam after 
the skiff until the strength of men and beasts gave out 
and they disappeared in the waves. 

Although they never laid hand on the Shah, they 
had slain him. Weakened by disease and hardship 
this overlord of Islam died on his island, so poverty- 
ridden that his only shroud was a shirt of one of his 

Chep No yon and Subotai, the two veteran 
marauders who had been ordered to capture the Shah 
alive or dead, did not know that he lay buried on his 
barren island another unfortunate who had fared no 
better than Wai Wang of Cathay, and Prester John 
himself, and Toukta Beg and Gutchluk. They sent 
back to the Khan the bulk of his treasure that the 
careful Subotai had gathered up, and most of his 


family, and word that he had sailed eastward in a 

Genghis Khan, believing that Mohammed would 
try to join his son at Urgcnch, the city of the Khans, 
sent a division in that direction. 

But Subotai, wintering in the snow-bound pastures 
of the Caspian, conceived the idea of marching to the 
north, around the sea to rejoin his Khan. He sent a 
courier to Samarkand to ask permission to make this 
journey, and Genghis Khan gave his assent, sending 
along several thousand Turkomans to strengthen the 
Orkhon's force. Subotai, on his own account, had 
been recruiting among the wild Kurds. After 
going south a bit to besiege and storm the impor- 
tant cities they had passed by in hunting down 
Mohammed, the Mongols turned north, into the 

They raided Georgia. A desperate struggle took 
place between the Mongols and the warriors of the 
mountains. Chep Noyon hid himself on one side of 
the long valley that leads up to Tiflis, while Subotai 
made use of the old Mongol trick of pretended flight. 
The five thousand men in ambush sallied out upon the 
flank of the Georgians, who suffered terribly in the 

The Mongols slashed their way through the gorges 
of the Caucasus, and passed the Iron Gate of Alexander. 
Emerging upon the northern slopes they found an 
army of the mountain peoples Alans, Circassians and 
Kipchaks mustered against them. They were out- 
numbered vastly, and had no way of retreat ; but 
Subotai succeeded in detaching the nomad Kipchaks 

See Note VII, The Conjurers and the Crow, page 228. 


from the others, and the Mongols rode through the 
stalwart Alans and Circassians. 

Then, following the Kipchaks into the salt steppes 
beyond the Caspian, the marauders out of Cathay 
scattered these wary nomads, driving them steadily 
north into the lands of the Russian princes. 

And here they were met by a new and utterly 
brave foeman. The Russian warriors gathered from 
Kiev and the far dukedoms, eighty-two thousand of 
them. They moved down the Dnieper escorted by 
strong bands of Kipchaks. They were sturdy horse- 
men, shield-bearers, who had waged from times 
forgotten a feud with the nomads of the steppes. 

The Mongols drew back from the Dnieper for nine 
days, watching the Russian masses, until they reached 
a place selected beforehand to give battle. The 
northern warriors were scattered in different camps, 
formidable enough, but sluggish and quarrelling 
among themselves. They had no leader like Subotai. 
For two days the struggle between Russian and 
Mongol their first meeting went on in the steppe. 
The great prince died under the pagan's weapons, 
with his nobles, and few of the host lived to ascend 
the Dnieper again. 

Left once more to their own devices, Subotai and 
Chep No yon wandered down into the Crimea and 
stormed a Genoese trade citadel. What next they 
might have done there is no knowing. They were 
intent on crossing the Dnieper into Europe when 
Genghis Khan, who had followed their movements by 
courier, ordered them to return to a rendezvous some 
two thousand miles in the east. 

Chep Noyon died on the way, but the Mongols 


turned aside long enough to invade and devastate the 
Bulgars, who were then on the Volga. 

It was an amazing march, and probably it remains 
to-day the greatest feat of cavalry in human annals. 
It could only have been accomplished by men of 
remarkable endurance, utterly confident in their own 

" Have you never heard," cries the Persian chron- 
icler, " that a band of men from the place where the 
sun rises, overrode the earth to the Caspian Gates, 
carrying destruction among peoples and sowing death 
in its passage ? Then, returning to its master it 
arrived sound and hale, loaded with booty. And this 
in less than two years." 

This gallop of two divisions to the end of ninety 
degrees of longitude bore strange fruit. Beside the 
warriors rode the savants of Cathay and the Ugurs, 
Nestorian Christians among them. At least we hear 
of Mohammedan merchants with an eye for trade, who 
sold Christian ecclesiastical manuscripts to some of the 

And Subotai did not ride blindly. The Cathayans 
and Ugurs noted down the positions of the rivers they 
crossed, and of lakes that yielded fish of salt mines 
and silver mines. Post stations were planted along the 
route darogas appointed in captured districts. With 
the fighting Mongol came the administrative man- 
darin. A captive Armenian bishop he was kept to 
read and. write letters for them tells us that in the 
lands beneath the Caucasus, a census was made of 
all men over the age of ten. 

Subotai had discovered the vast pasture lands of 
southern Russia, the black earth region. He rcmcm- 


bcrcd these steppes. Years later he returned from the 
other side of the world to overrun Moscow. And he 
took up his march again where he had been called 
back by the Khan, crossing the Dnieper to invade 
eastern Europe.* 

And the Genoese and Venetian merchants were 
brought into contact with the Mongols. A generation 
later the Polos, of Venice, set out for the dominion of 
the Grand Khan,*f 

* See Note VIII, Subntai B,iha<lur v. Middle Europe, page 9. 

*t See Note IX, \Vhat Europe thought of the Mongols, page 236. 



WHILE the two Orkhons were raiding the west 
of the Caspian sea, two sons of the Khan 
journeyed to the other inland sea, now known as the 
Aral. They had been sent forth to gather news of 
the Shah and to cut off his return. Learning at length 
that he was in his grave, they followed the wide Amu 
through its clay steppes to the native city of the 

Here the Mongols settled down to a long and 
bitter siege, in which lacking large stones for their 
casting machines, they hewed massive tree trunks into 
blocks and soaked the wood until heavy enough for 
their purpose. In the hand-to-hand fighting that 
lasted within the walls for a week, the chroniclers say 
they used flaming naphtha a new weapon that they 
must have picked up among the Mohammedans, who 
had handled it with devastating effect against the 
crusaders of Europe. Urgench fell, and they trotted 
back with their captives and spoil to the headquarters 
of the Khan, but Jelal ed-Din, the valiant son of a 
weak father, escaped to lead fresh forces against 

Meanwhile Genghis Khan withdrew his warriors 
from the lowlands during the heat of the summer 
a burning, sultry heat that distressed the men accus- 


tomed to the high altitudes of the Gobi. He led them 
up into the cooler ranges beyond the Amu. 

To keep them occupied while the horse herds grazed 
and with an eye to discipline he issued an order 
for the favourite pastime of the horde, a season's hunt. 

A Mongol hunt was no less than a regular cam- 
paign, against beasts instead of men. The whole horde 
shared in it, and its rules had been laid down by the 
Khan himself, which meant that they were inexor- 

Juchi, the Master of Hunting, being absent on 
duty, his lieutenant galloped off to survey and mark 
several hundred miles of hills. Streamers were planted 
for the starting points of the various regiments. 
Beyond the horizon the gurtai^ or closing point of 
the hunt, was chosen and likewise marked. 

Witness then, the squadrons of the horde, in high 
fettle, moving off to right and left, bivouacking under 
the orders of the hunters, waiting the arrival of the 
Khan and the fanfare of horns and cymbals that would 
start them off. They were thus arranged in a shallow 
half-circle, covering perhaps eighty miles or so of 

The Khan appearing with his higher officers, and 
princes and youthful grandsons, the riders mounted, 
forming a close-knit line, sometimes two ranks deep. 
They carried all weapons and equipment used against 
human enemies, with the addition of wicker shields. 

The horses surged forward, the officers dropped 
behind their commands, and the rousing of the 
animals began. The warriors were forbidden to use 
their arms against the animals, and it was a real dis- 
grace to allow any four-footed thing to slip through 


the line of riders. They crushed through thickets, 
beat up gullies and climbed hillocks, shouting and 
cjamouring when a tiger or wolf was seen sliding out 
of the brush. 

Matters went a little harder in the night. After the 
first month of the hunt, great numbers of animals were 
massing ahead of the half-circle of humans. The 
warriors went into camp, lighted fires, posted sentries. 
There was even the usual password. Officers went the 
rounds. No easy matter to keep a line of pickets when 
all the four-footed life of the mountains was astir in 
front of them eyes glowing from the ground, the 
howling of wolves and the spitting snarl of leopards 
breaking through the silence. 

Harder still a month later, when the circle had 
drawn in a little and the multitude of animals began to 
feel it was being driven. No relaxing the rigour of 
the hunt. If a fox went to earth it must be dug out 
again with mattocks ; if a bear trundled into a hole 
in the rocks, someone must go in after it without 
injuring the bear ! Many a chance here for the young 
warriors to show their skill and fearlessness, especially 
if a solitary tusked boar or a herd turned and 
rushed the line of riders. 

One part of the line encountered the wide bend of 
a river, and was held up. Straightway couriers were 
sent speeding along the half-circle of the hunters, 
with orders to hold back the rest of the line until the 
river could be crossed. The driven beasts were 
already over, for the most part. 

The warriors urged in their horses, and slipped 
from the saddles, clinging to mane or tail. Some laced 
up their leather kits air-tight and used them as rude 


floats. Once on the far bank they mounted again, 
and the hunt went forward. 

Here and there appeared the old Khan, watching 
the behaviour of the men, and the way the officers 
handled them. He said nothing during the hunt, but 
he remembered such details. 

Guided by the huntsmen, the half-circle closed its 
wings, nearing the gurtat. The beasts began to feel 
the pressure deer leaping into view with quivering 
flanks, tigers turning this way and that, heads lowered, 
snarling. Out of sight, beyond the gurfai, the circle 
was closed, tightening around the game. The brazen 
clamour of cymbals and the roar of shouting grew 
louder ; the ranks formed two and three deep ; the 
Khan, riding up to the mass of men and frantic 
beasts, gave a signal. The riders parted to let him 

By old custom the Khan was to be first among the 
cornered beasts. He carried a bare sword in one hand, 
his bow in the other. It was permissible to use weapons 
now. The chroniclers say that he picked out the more 
dangerous of the brute antagonists, launching his 
arrows at a tiger, or reining his horse against wolves. 

When he had killed several beasts, he withdrew 
from the ring, riding up a hill overlooking the gurtai 
and sitting there under a pavilion to watch the exploits 
of the princes and officers who next entered. It was 
a Mongol arena, the gladiatorial games of the nomads, 
and as with the gladiators of Rome not a few who 
entered the arena were carried from it mangled or 

When the signal for the general slaying was giveo, 
the warriors of the horde surged forward, taking what 


lay in their path. A whole day might pass in this 
slaughter of game until the grandsons and boy 
princes of the horde came, as custom required, to the 
Khan to beg that the surviving animals should be 
allowed to live. This request was granted, and the 
hunters turned to gather up the carcases. 

This hunting trained the warriors, and the closing 
in of the ring of riders was used in warfare against 
human beings as well. 

In this year and in an enemy country, the hunt 
lasted no longer than four months. The Khan wished 
to be ready for the autumn campaign, and to meet 
Juchi and Chatagai, returning from the inland sea 
with word of the death of the Shah. 

Until now the Mongols had marched almost with- 
out interruption through Islam. They had crossed 
rivers, and taken cities, as swiftly as a modern traveller 
with servants and a caravan might pass from place to 
place. Mohammed the Warrior, too ambitious in the 
beginning, too fearful in the end, had abandoned his 
people to try to save himself and had earned thereby 
only ignominy and a beggar's grave. 

Like the emperor of Cathay, he had thrown his 
armies into cities to escape the Mongol cavalry that 
remained invisible until the hour of battle and then 
manoeuvred in terrible silence in obedience to the 
signals given by moving the standards signals that 
were repeated to the warriors of a squadron by the 
arm movements of an officer. This, during the day 
and in the din of conflict when the human voice could 
not be heard and cymbals and kettle drums might be 
mistaken for the enemy's instruments. At night such 
signals were given by the raising and lowering of 


coloured lanterns near the tugh or standard of the 

After the first rush upon the northern line of the 
Syr, Genghis Khan had concentrated his columns on 
what he thought to be the chief cities of the empire, 
Bokhara and Samarkand. He had broken this second 
line of defence without serious trouble, and had 
concentrated the horde again in what might be called 
the third line the fertile hills of northern Persia and 

So far the struggle between Mongol and Turk 
unbeliever and Mohammedan had been utterly 
disastrous for the latter. The Mongols appeared to the 
dismayed Turks to be an incarnation of divine wrath 
in all truth, a scourge visited upon them for their 

Genghis Khan was at some pains to encourage this 
belief. He had also taken care to clear his flanks to 
the east, riding himself through the tablelands around 
the Amu head-waters, and sending other divisions to 
occupy the cities in the west that Chepd Noyon and 
Subotai had passed by sending back a report of 
them to the Khan. This done, he had made himself 
master of Balkh and had devoted a summer to the 
great hunt near by. 

Here he occupied the trade routes in the centre of 
the Mohammedan peoples. He had been gathering 
information all this while, and he knew now that there 
were forces still untouched to be dealt with, and greater 
powers beyond the horizon. As the Chinese had done, 
the population of Islam was arming against him. 
Their Shah lost to them, and two of his sons killed in 
battle against the Mongols, they began to muster 


under their natural leaders, the Persian princes and 
the sayyids, the descendants of a warrior prophet. 

Genghis Khan was quite aware of his situation. He 
knew that the real test of strength was before him 
that perhaps a million men, good horsemen and 
exceedingly well armed, were now ready to move 
against him. For the present they lacked a leader and 
they were scattered throughout a dozen kingdoms, in 
a circle around him. 

The horde, in the beginning of this second year, 
could not have numbered more than twelve tumans^ 
somewhat more than a hundred thousand. The Idikut 
of the Ugurs and the Christian king of Almalykhad 
asked leave to go back to the T'ian shan with their 
forces, and he had given them permission to do so. 
His best leaders, Chepe Noyon and Subotai, were in 
the west, with two tumans. Tilik Noyon, the most 
dependable of his remaining Orkhons, had been killed 
in the assault of Nisapur. Muhuli, of course, was 
occupied in Cathay. The fellowship of the Orkhons 
had thinned, and Genghis Khan felt the need of 
Subotai's counsel. 

So he sent for his favourite general, all the way to 
the Caspian. Subotai came back to Balkh in answer 
to the summons, and talked for a few days with the 
Khan, then galloped back to his headquarters a 
thousand miles away. 

The mood of the Khan had changed and he no 
longer. thought of hunting. He reproached his eldest 
son Juchi angrily for the quarrel that had delayed the 
capture of Urgench or perhaps for allowing Jelal 
ed-Din to escape. And the wayward and defiant 
Juchi was sent from the horde. With his household 


troops, he rode north into the steppes beyond the sea 
of Aral. 

Then Genghis Khan ordered the horde forth, no 
longer to manoeuvre and pillage with half-indifferent 
contempt of theii foes, but to destroy the man-power 
that existed around him. 



" T WAS living," relates the chronicle of a prince 
JL of Khorassan, " at the time in my citadel on a 
high and stony mountainside. It was one of the 
strongest of Khorassan, and if tradition is to be 
believed belonged to my ancestors since Islamism 
was brought into these lands. As it is near the centre 
of the province, it served as asylum to escaped prisoners 
and to inhabitants who fled from captivity or death 
at the hands of the Tatars. 

" After some time the Tatars appeared before it. 
When they saw that they could not take it, they 
demanded as the price of their withdrawal ten thousand 
robes of cotton cloth, and a quantity of other things 
although they were already gorged with the sack 
of Nesa. 

" I consented to this. But when it came to carrying 
the ransom out to them, no one could be found to 
undertake it, because everyone knew that their Khan 
made a practice of slaying whosoever came into their 
hands. Finally two old men offered themselves, 
bringing me their children and commending them to 
my care if they should lose their lives. Actually, the 
Tatars did slay them before leaving. 

" Soon these barbarians spread all through Khor- 
assan. When they arrived in a district they drove 



before them the peasantry, and brought the captives 
to the city they wished to take, using them in working 
the siege-engines. Fright and desolation became all- 
pervading. The man who had been made captive 
was more tranquil than the one who waited in his 
house, not knowing what his fate would be. Chieftains 
and nobles were obliged to go with their vassals and 
war machines. Everyone who did not obey was, 
without exception, put to the point of the sword." 

It was Tuli, the youngest son of the Khan, Master 
of War, who thus invaded the fertile provinces of 
Persia. He had been ordered by his father to look for 
Jelal ed-Din, but the Kharesmian prince evaded him, 
and the Mongol army marched against Merv the 
jewel of the sands, the pleasure city of the Shahs. It 
stood on the River of Birds, the Murgh Ab y and 
sheltered in its libraries many thousand volumes of 

The Mongols discovered a roving column of Turko- 
mans in the vicinity, scattered them, and Tuli made 
the round of the walls with his officers, studying the 
defences. The Mongol lines were drawn up closer, 
the investment completed ; the cattle of the Turko- 
mans were turned out to graze. 

Angered by the loss of a thousand of his best men 
imperial guardsmen of the Khan Tuli launched 
storm after storm against the wall of Merv, building 
an embankment of earth against the rampart and 
covering his onset with flights of arrows. For twenty- 
two days this went on, and during the lull that followed, 
an imam was sent out to the Mongols, who received 
him with all courtesy and returned him safely to 
his lines. 


This man of religion, it appears, had not come on 
behalf of the city itself but on behest of the governor, 
a certain Mcrik. Reassured, the governor went forth 
to the Mongol tents bearing with him rich gifts of 
silver vessels and jewelled robes. 

Tuli, a master of deceit, had a robe of honour sent 
to Merik, and invited him to his own tent to dine. 
There he convinced the Persian that he would be 

" Summon then thy friends and chosen com- 
panions/* Tuli suggested. " I will find work for them 
to do, and will honour them." 

Merik despatched a servant to bring out his 
intimates, who were seated beside the governor at the 
feast. Tuli then asked for a list of the six hundred 
richest men of Merv, and the governor and his 
intimates obediently wrote out the names of the 
wealthiest landholders and merchants. Then, before 
the horrified Merik, his companions were strangled 
by the Mongols. The list of the six hundred names in 
the governor's handwriting was taken to the gate of 
Merv by one of Tuli's officers, who demanded the 
persons in question. 

In due course, they appeared and were placed under 
guard. The Mongols made themselves masters of the 
gate, and their bands of horsemen pushed into the 
streets of Merv. All the inhabitants were ordered out 
into the plain with their families and such goods as 
they could carry. This evacuation lasted four days. 

In the midst of the multitude of captives Tuli sat 
watching, from his chair on a gilded dais. His officers 
singled out the leaders of the Persian soldiery and 
brought them before him. While the others looked 


on, helpless, the heads were cut from the officers of 

Then the men, women and children were separated 
into three masses the men forced to lie down, their 
arms across their backs. All this unhappy multitude 
was divided among the Mongol warriors who strangled 
and slashed them to death, excepting only four 
hundred craftsmen who were needed by the horde, 
and some children to be kept as slaves. The six hun- 
dred wealthy inhabitants fared little better being 
tortured until they led the Mongols to where they 
had hidden their most precious possessions. 

The vacant dwellings were ransacked by the 
Mongols, the walls razed to the ground, and Tuli 
drew off. The only survivors of the city, apparently, 
were some five thousand Mohammedans who had 
concealed themselves in cellars and conduits, and these 
did not live long. Some troops of the horde returned 
to the city, hunted them down and left the place 
empty of human life. 

In this fashion, one by one, sister cities were tricked 
and stormed. At one place some people saved them- 
selves by lying down among the knots of bodies of 
those already slain. The Mongols heard of this, and 
an order was issued to cut the heads from the inhabi- 
tants in future. In the ruins of another city some few 
score of Persians managed to survive. A troop of 
Mongols was sent back with orders to exterminate 
the survivors. The nomads went into camp and tracked 
and hunted down the miserable people with less 
compunction than if they had been animals. 

It was, in fact, very much like the hunting of the 


animals. Every trick of ingenuity was called into 
play to root out human beings. In the ruins of one 
place the Mongols forced a captive muezzin to cry 
the summons to prayer from a minaret. The Moham- 
medans, lurking in their hiding places, came forth 
in the belief that the terrible invaders had left. They 
were destroyed. 

When the Mongols abandoned the site of a city 
they trampled and burned whatever crops might be 
left standing so that those who escaped their swords 
would starve to death. At Urgench, where the long 
defence had made them suffer, they actually went to 
the trouble to dam up the river above the citadel, 
altering its course so it flowed over the debris of 
houses and walls. This changing of the course of the 
Amu puzzled geographers for a long time. 

Such details are too horrible to dwell upon to-day. 
It was war carried to its utmost extent an extent 
that was very nearly approached in the last European 
war. It was the slaughter of human beings without 
hatred simply to make an end of them. 

It made a tabula rasa of the heart of Islam. The 
survivors of the massacres lived on so shaken in spirit 
that they cared for nothing except to find food and 
to hide, too fearful to leave the weed-grown debris 
until the wolves who came to the unburied dead 
exterminated them or drove them away. Such sites 
of destroyed cities were forbidden to human beings 
-a scar on the face of a once fertile earth. More than 
once earth was ploughed into the ruins, and grain 

The nomads, valuing human life less than the soil 
that could nourish grain and beasts, were eradicating 


the cities. Genghis Khan had paralysed the growing 
movement of rebellion had broken resistance 
before it could form against him. He would allow 
no mercy. 

" I forbid you," he said to his Orkhons, " to show 
demcncy to my enemies without an express order 
from me. Rigour alone keeps such spirits dutiful. 
An enemy conquered is not subdued, and will always 
hate his new master." 

He had not used such measures in the Gobi, nor 
such utter cruelty in Cathay. Here, in the world of 
Islam, he showed himself a veritable scourge. He 
reproved Tuli bitterly for sparing the inhabitants of 
Herat with the exception of ten thousand partisans 
of the Sultan Jelal ed-Din. And, in fact, Herat did 
rebel against its yoke, putting to death its Mongol 

Other cities flared up for a moment when the 
youthful sultan visited them and harangued them. But 
the squadrons of the Khan were soon at their gates. 
The fate of Herat was not less hideous than that of 
Merv. The embers of resistance were stamped out in 
terrible fashion. For the moment a real danger had 
shown itself the jihad, or holy war. 

In whispers now the devout Mohammedans called 
the Mongol the " Accursed." The fire of frenzy 
died down. The men of Islam had a leader, but the 
centre of their world lay in ruins, and Jclal ed-Din, 
who alone could have held them together, and taken 
the field against the old conqueror, was chivvied round 
the borders by the Mongol corps of observation, and 
given neither time nor opportunity for assembling 
an army. 


When the second summer came with its heat, the 
Khan led the greater portion of his horde up into the 
forested heights of the Hindu Kush, above the 
scorched valleys. Here he allowed them to build rest 
camps. The captives, nobles and slaves, judges and 
beggars, were set to work to raise wheat. There was 
no hunt this time. Sickness had taken too great a 
toll of the horde. 

Here they could rest for a month or so in the silk 
pavilions of vanquished courts. The sons of Turkish 
atabegs and Persian amirs were their cup-bearers. The 
fairest women of Islam went about the camps unveiled, 
watched with haggard eyes by the labourers of the 
wheat fields, who had only the remnants of garments 
to cover their limbs, and must snatch their food with 
the dogs when the warriors ordered them to be fed. 

Wild Turkomans, robbers of the caravans, came 
down from the heights to fraternize with the invaders 
and stare at the silver and gold and the endless 
embroidered garments that were heaped under sheds, 
waiting to be carried back to the Gobi. Physicians 
a novelty to the nomads were here to tend the 
sick, and learned men to dispute with the Cathayans 
while the marauders of the Gobi listened tolerantly, 
half understanding and little caring. 

But for Genghis Khan there was the endless task of 
administration. Couriers came to him from the 
Orkhons in Cathay, and from Subotai in the Russian 
steppes. . While he was directing military operations 
on these two fronts, he must keep in touch with the 
council of the khans in the Gobi. 

Not content with messages, Genghis Khan made 
his Chinese councillors come to him in the Hindu 


Kush, and however they may have relished the wild 
ride along cliff paths and over the desert beds- no one 

To open up these new roads between east and west, 
the Khan devised the yam or Mongol horse-post 
the pony express of thirteenth-century Asia. 



FOR generations the Gobi clansmen had been 
accustomed to pass news from tent village to 
tent village by mounted messenger. When a man 
galloped up with a summons to war, or a bit of gossip, 
someone in the ordu would saddle his horse and relay 
the tidings to friends in the distance. These messengers 
were accustomed to ride fifty or sixty miles during 
the day. 

As Genghis Khan extended his conquests, it was 
necessary to improve the yam. At first, like most of 
his expedients for government, it was purely a matter 
for the army. Permanent camps were made at intervals 
along the line of march, and a string of horses left at 
each, with youths to tend them, and a few warriors to 
keep off thieves. Where the horde had once passed, 
no stronger guard was necessary. 

These camps a few yurts, a shed for hay and sacks 
of barley in winter were perhaps a hundred miles 
apart, strung along the caravan roads. Up and down 
this line of communication went the treasure bearers, 
carrying back to Karakorum the jewels, the gold 
ornaments, the best of the jade and enamel ware, and 
the great rubies of Badakshan. 

Over these roads the gleanings of the horde were 
sent to the homeland in the Gobi. It must have been 



an ever-growing wonder to the nomad settlements, 
when each month brought its load of rarities and 
human beings from unknown regions. Especially 
when warriors who had served in Khorassan or at the 
edge of the inland seas rode back to sit by the yurt 
fires and relate the deeds and incredible victories of 
their hordes. 

Nothing, perhaps, seemed incredible to the dwellers 
at home who had grown accustomed to having treasures 
brought by captured camels to their tent entrances. 
What did the women think of the undreamed-of 
luxuries, or the old men ponder as to the ride of the 
Orkhons out of the world as they knew it ? What 
became of the riches ? How did the Mongol women 
make use of the pearl-sewn veils of Persia ? 

How greatly did the herdsmen and boys envy 
these returning veterans who led strings of Arab 
racers, and displayed from their saddlebags the silver- 
worked armour of a prince or atabeg i 

The Mongols have left us no record of such 
experiences. But we know that they accepted the 
victories of the Khan as a matter predestined. Was he 
not the Lord Bogdo, the sending from the gods, the 
maker of laws ? Why should he not take what portion 
of the earth pleased him ? 

Genghis Khan, apparently, did not attribute his 
victories to any celestial intervention. He did say, 
more than once, " There is only one sun in the sky, 
and one strength of Heaven. Only one Kha Khan 
should be upon the earth. " 

The veneration of his Buddhists he accepted with- 
out comment ; he acquiesced in the role of the 
Scourge of God bestow ed upon him by the Moham- 


mcdans he even reminded them of it when he saw 
something to be gained by so doing. He listened to 
the urging of the astrologers, but made his own plans. 
Unlike Napoleon, there was nothing of the fatalist 
in him ; nor did he assume, as Alexander had done, 
the attributes of a god. He set about the task of ruling 
half the world with the same inflexible purpose and 
patience he had devoted to tracking down a stray 
horse in his youth. 

He viewed titles with a utilitarian eye. Once he 
ordered a letter to be written to a Mohammedan 
prince on his frontier. The letter was composed by a 
Persian scribe who put in all the imposing titles and 
flattery beloved of the Iranians. When the missive 
was read over to Genghis Khan, the old Mongol 
shouted with rage and ordered it to be destroyed. 

" Thou hast written foolishly," he said to the scribe. 
" That prince would have thought I feared him." 

And he dictated to another of his writers one of 
his customary messages, brief and peremptory, and 
signed " The KAa Khan." 

To keep up communication between his armies, 
Genghis Khan knit together the old caravan routes. 

Officers paused at the post stations to show their 
falcon tablets and to have shaggy ponies led in from 
the herd. Bearded Cathayans, wrapped in voluminous 
quilted coats, trotted up in two-wheeled curtained 
carts, and their servants broke off bits of the precious 
tea bricks to prepare over the fire. Here paused the 
Ugur savants now part and parcel of the horde in 
their high velvet hats and yellow cloaks thrown over 
one shoulder. 


Past the yam station plodded the endless lines of 
camels of the caravans. They carried the woven 
stuffs and ivory and all the goods of Islam's merchants 
into the desert. 

The yam was telegraph, railroad and parcel-post 
all in one. It enabled newcomers from unknown 
regions to seek the Mongols in the Gobi. Thin-faced 
Jews led along the post road their laden donkeys and 
carts ; sallow, square-chinned Armenians rode by 
with a curious glance at the silent Mongol soldiers 
sitting on their blankets by the fire, or sleeping under 
an opened tent flap. 

These Mongols were masters of the roads. In the 
large towns, there would be a daroga^ or road governor, 
with absolute authority in his district. With him 
would be a clerk, to write down the personages who 
called at the station, and the merchandise that went by. 

The guards at the stations were so few as to be 
little more than an escort for the station-master. Their 
duties were light. Whatever they requisitioned from 
the countryside must be forthcoming. A Mongol had 
only to show himself, on his long-haired pony, with 
the slender lance slung over his shoulder and his 
lacquered armour peering from under his sable or 
deerskin coat for the bystanders to hasten to him 
submissively. The usual petty thieves of Asia did not 
put in appearance. Who would dare plunder even a 
horse-rope from a Mongol guard post, no matter how 
seemingly sleepy and indifferent ? 

At these posts halted the weary bands of Moham- 
medan craftsmen, carpenters, musicians, brick makers, 
smiths, sword welders, or rug weavers captives 
Karakorum-bound, shivering and stumbling as they 


crossed the wastes of the inland seas, with no more 
than a solitary rider of the horde as guard and guide. 
What chance of escape had they ? 

Past these posts hastened other curious bands. 
Yellow hat lamas, swinging their prayer wheels, their 
eyes fixed on remote snow summits black hats, from 
the barren slopes of Tibet the smiling, slant-eyed 
Buddhist pilgrims, bound to spend their years in 
seeking the paths once followed by their Holy One. 
Barefoot ascetics, long-haired fakirs indifferent to the 
world about them, and grey-garbed Ncstorian priests, 
very full of things magical but remembering only 
snatches of prayer and ritual. 

And often came a rider on a powerful, sweat- 
streaked horse, scattering priests and mandarins, and 
crying out one word shrilly as he reined in by the 
yurts. This man carried despatches for the Khan, and 
he covered a hundred and fifty miles a day without 
rest. For him the best horse of the station was led 
out swiftly. 

Such was the yam, and two generations later Marco 
Polo described it as he saw it in his journey to Kam- 
balu,* which was then the city of the Khans. 

" Now you must know that the messengers of the 
Emperor travelling from Kambalu find at every 
twenty-five miles of the journey a station which they 
call the Horse Post House. And at each of these 
stations there is a large and handsome building for 

* Khan baligh, the City of the King. Kubilai Khan, who was emperor 
in Marco Polo's time, resided in the Chinese capital. " Chandu " is Shanda 
the " Xanadu " of Coleridge's poem. 

" In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 
A stately pleasure dome decree 
Where Alph the sacred river ran " 

Marco Polo relates that it took him six days' travel from Chandu to Kambalu, 
and his marches must have been long ones. 


them to put up at. All the rooms are furnished with 
fine beds and rich silks. If even a king were to arrive 
at one of these houses, he would find himself well 

" At some of these stations there shall be four 
hundred horses, at others two hundred. Even when 
the messengers have to pass through a roadless tract 
where no hostel stands, still the stations are to be 
found, although at a greater interval, and they are 
provided with all necessaries so that the Emperor's 
messengers, come from what region they may, find 
everything ready for them. 

" Never had emperor, king, or lord such wealth 
as this manifests. For in all these posts there are 
300,000 horses kept up, and the buildings are more 
than 10,000 in number. The thing is on a scale so 
wonderful that it is hard to bring oneself to describe it. 

" In this way the emperor receives despatches from 
places ten days* journey off in one day and night. 
Many a time fruit shall be gathered at Kambalu one 
morning and in the evening of the next day it shall 
reach the Grand Khan at Chandu. The Emperor 
exempts these men from all tribute and pays them 

" Moreover there are men in these stations who, 
when there is a call for great haste, travel a good two 
hundred or two hundred and fifty miles in the day 
and as much in the night.* Every one of these messen- 
gers wears a great wide belt set all over with bells, so 
that their bells are heard jingling a long way off. 
And thus on reaching the post the messenger finds 

* This is probably an error. The account given here is quoted, slightly 
condensed, from the Yule-Cordier edition of Marco Polo. 


another man similarly equipped who instantly takes 
over whatsoever he has in charge, and with it receives 
a slip of paper from the clerk, who is always on hand 
for the purpose. The clerk at each of the posts notes 
the time of each courier's arrival and departure. 

" They take a horse from those at the station which 
are standing ready saddled, all fresh and in wind, 
and mount and go at full speed. And when those at 
the next post hear the bells they get ready another 
horse. And the speed at which they go is marvellous. 
By night, however, they can not go as fast as by day, 
because they have to be accompanied by footmen with 

" These couriers are highly prized ; and they could 
never do it did they not bind hard the stomach, head 
and chest with strong bands. And each of them carries 
with him a gerfalcon tablet in sign that he is bound 
on an urgent express ; so that if perchance his horse 
break down, he is empowered to dismount whomso- 
ever he may fall in with on the road, and take his 
horse. Nobody dares refuse in such case." 

The post roads were the backbone of the Khan's 
administration. The Mongol daroga of each town 
naturally had the task of keeping up the string of 
horses, and levying supplies from the vicinity. Besides, 
in places not actually at war with the Khan, there 
was tribute to be paid to the horde. The Tassa, the 
Code of the Khan, became the law of the land, re- 
placing the Koran and the Mohammedan judges. 
A census was taken. 

Priests and preachers of every faith were exempt 
from the tax. So ran the Yassa. All horses taken over 


by the horde were branded with the mark of the 
owner, the Khan having a different brand. 

To keep the census rolls, and the records of the 
daroga* the industrious Chinese or Ugurs set up the 
amen or government house. Beside the Mongol 
governor some dignitary of the conquered district 
was allowed to hold office. He served to give the 
Mongols information they needed, and to act as 

But to a venerable sheikh in one province Genghis 
Khan gave a tiger tablet of authority. The sheikh 
could undo all the darogas did could save the con- 
demned from death. This shadow of authority 
extended by the Khan to the native rulers lightened 
the reign of terror. The time had not come yet, but 
would soon come, when the conquered peoples could 
invoke the Tassa as well as the Mongols. Above all 
things, the Mongol was consistent. After the throes 
of the first military occupation, he often proved a 
tolerant master. 

But Genghis Khan spared little thought for any- 
thing except the army, the new roads, and the wealth 
that was flowing out of a conquered world to his 
people. The officers of the horde now wore the finest 
Turkish chain mail, and their swords were of Damascus 
forging. Except for his constant curiosity as to new 
weapons and new knowledge, the Khan heeded little 
the luxury of Islam. He kept the dress and the 
habits of the Gobi. 

He could be indulgent at times. But he was 
moody and intent on finishing the half-completed 
work of conquest. His terrible flashes of temper were 
frequent. He made quite a favourite of a peculiarly 


hideous-looking physician of Samarkand, who treated 
his eyes for him. The man, waxing bold in the 
Khan's tolerance, began to be something of a nuisance 
to the Mongol officers. He asked for a particular 
singing girl of beauty who had been captured in the 
storming of Urgench. 

The Khan, amused by his insistence, ordered the 
girl to be given to him. The ugliness of the physician 
proved distasteful to the beautiful captive, and the 
man of Samarkand came to the Khan again, to plead 
that she should be made to obey him. This angered 
the old Mongol, who launched into a tirade on 
men who could not enforce obedience, and who 
turned traitor. Then he had the physician put 
to death. 

In this autumn Genghis Khan had summoned the 
higher officers to the usual council, but Juchi, his 
eldest son, had not come had sent instead a gift of 
horses with the explanation that he was sick. 

Some of the princes of the horde disliked Juchi, 
held up to him the stigma of his birth, called him 
" Tatar." And they pointed out to the Khan that his 
eldest son had disobeyed the summons to the kurultai. 
The old Mongol sent for the officer who had brought 
the horses and asked whether Juchi were really 

" I do not know," the man from Kipchak answered, 
" but he was hunting when I left him." 

Angered, the Khan retired to his tent, and his 
officers expected that he would march against Juchi, 
who had committed the crime of disobedience. 
Instead, he dictated a message to one of his writers, 
and gare it to a courier who started west. He was 


not willing to divide the horde, and very probably 
he hoped that his son would not rebel against him, 
because he had ordered Subotai to return from 
Europe,* and to bring Juchi to his headquarters, 
wherever he might be. 

*Sce Note X, Correspondence between the European Monarchs 
the Mongols, page 2 39. 



THERE was little time for anything except action 
that eventful autumn. Herat and the other 
cities rose against the conquerors. Jelal ed-Din was 
mustering an army in the east so messages from the 
corps of observation along the Hindu Kush reported. 
Genghis Khan was planning to send Tuli, his most 
dependable leader, after the Kharesmian prince, when 
he heard of the rising in Herat. Instead, he sent Tuli 
west into Khorassan with several divisions. 

Genghis Khan took the field with 60,000 men to 
find and destroy the new Kharesmian army. He found 
in his path the strong city of Bamiyan in the Koh-i- 
Baba ranges. He settled down to invest it, sending the 
greater part of his forces under another Orkhon to 
meet Jclal ed-Din. 

In due course couriers arrived at Bamiyan with 
word that Jclal ed-Din had 60,000 men with him 
that the Mongol general had come in contact with 
him, and had avoided several attempts of the Kharcs- 
mians to ambush him. Scouts were watching the 
movements of the redoubtable prince. 

What had happened was that an Afghan army had 
joined Jelal ed-Din in this crisis, doubling his strength. 
Word came in not long after that the Turks and 



Afghans had defeated the Mongol Orkhon, driving 
his men into the mountains. 

i Genghis Khan turned with new fury to the city 
before him. The defenders had laid bare all the 
district, even removing the large stones that could be 
used in siege engines. The Mongols had not the usual 
equipment with them, and their wooden towers, raised 
against the walls, were fired by arrows and flaming 
naphtha until the cattle were slaughtered and their 
hides used to cover the wood frames. 

The Khan ordered an assault the storm that is not 
to be abandoned until the city is taken. At this point 
one of his grandsons, who had followed him under 
the walls, was killed. The old Mongol ordered the 
body of the child whom he had liked for his courage 
to be carried back to the tents. 

He urged on the assault, and, throwing off his 
helmet, pushed through his ranks until he was at the 
head of a storming party. They gained footing in a 
breach, and Bamiyan fell to them not long after. 
Every living being was slain within its walls, and 
mosques and palaces pulled down. Even the Mongols 
spoke of Bamiyan as Mou-batigh> the City of Sorrow. 

But Genghis Khan left it at once to assemble his 
scattered divisions. They were feeling their way 
toward him through the hills, not much the worse 
for their drubbing. The Khan rallied them, and praised 
their devotion. Instead of blaming the unhappy 
Orkhon who had been worsted by Jelal ed-Din, he 
rode back with him over the scene of the action, 
asking what had happened and pointing out the 
mistakes he had made. 
The Kharesmian prince did not prove himself &s 


able in victory as he had been sturdy in defeat. He 
had his moment of exultation when his men tortured 
to death the Mongol prisoners and divided up the 
captured horses and weapons ; but the Afghans 
quarrelled with his officers and left him. 

Genghis Khan was on the march against him, after 
detaching an army to watch the movements of the 
Afghans. Jelal ed-Din retreated east to Ghazna, but 
the Mongols were hard after him. He sent messengers 
to summon new allies, but these found that the 
Mongols had guarded the mountain passes. With 
his thirty thousand men Jelal ed-Din hurried down 
through the foothills and out upon the valley of the 

His hope was to cross the river and league himself 
with the sultans of Delhi. But the Mongols, who had 
been five days behind him at Ghazna, were now 
within half a day's ride. Genghis Khan had barely 
allowed his men to dismount to cook their food. 

Desperate now, the Kharesmian prince hastened to 
the river, found that he had come to a place where 
the Indus was too swift and deep for the crossing, and 
turned at bay, his left flank protected by a mountain 
ridge, his right by a bend of the river. 

The chivalry of Islam, hunted out of its own lands, 
prepared to measure its strength against the inexorable 
Mongol. Jelal ed-Din ordered all the boats along the 
bank to be destroyed, so his men would not think of 
fleeing. His position was strong, but he must hold it 
or be annihilated. 

At dawn the Mongols advanced all along the line. 
They had emerged out of the darkness in formation, 
Genghis Khan with his standard, and the ten thousand 


cavalry of the imperial guard in reserve behind the 
centre. These, at first, were not engaged. 

The impetuous Kharesmian prince was the first to 
send his men forward. His right wing always the 
strongest division in a Mohammedan army of that 
day under Emir Malik skirmished with the left of 
the Khan, and drove home a charge along the bank 
of the Indus that forced the Mongols back at this 
point. They scattered into squadrons as usual, re- 
formed under one of the Khan's sons, and were forced 
back again. 

On their right, the Mongols had been checked by 
the barrier of the lofty and barren ridges, and here 
they halted. Jelal ed-Din detached forces from this 
part of his line to aid the advancing right wing of 
Emir Malik. And later in the day he withdrew still 
more squadrons from the defenders of the mountain 
to strengthen his centre. 

Determined to risk everything in one cast of 
fortune, he charged with the elite of his host, straight 
into the Mongol centre, cutting through to the 
standard, seeking the Khan. The old Mongol was 
not there. His horse had been killed under him 
and he had mounted another and gone elsewhere. 

It was a moment of apparent victory for the 
Kharesmian, and the ululation of the Mohammedans 
rose above the din of beating hoofs, the grinding of 
steel, and the cries of the wounded. 

The Mongol centre, badly shaken by the charge, 
kept on fighting stubbornly. Genghis Khan had 
noticed the withdrawal of nearly all the Kharesmian 
left wing, posted on the heights. He ordered a tuman 
commander, Bela Noyon, to go with the guides he 


had been questioning and to cross the mountain at all 
costs. It was the old turning movement of the Mongols, 
the standard-sweep. 

The noyon with his men followed the guides into 
sheer gorges and ascended cliff paths that seemed 
impassable. Some of the warriors fell into the chasms, 
but the greater part gained the ridge late in the day 
and descended on the remnant of men left by Jelal 
ed-Din to protect this point. Over the mountain 
barrier the Kharesmian flank was turned. Bela Noyon 
charged into the enemy camp. 

Meanwhile Genghis Khan had taken the leadership 
of his ten thousand heavy cavalry, and had gone 
not to the menaced centre, but to the defeated left 
wing. His charge against Emir Malik's forces routed 
them. Wasting no time in following them up, the 
Khan swung his squadrons about and drove them 
against the flank of Jelal ed-Din 's troops of the centre. 
He had cut off the wing by the river from the 
Kharesmian prince. 

The stout hearted but wearying Mohammedans had 
been rendered helpless by the sagacity of the old 
Mongol, and by manoeuvring as perfect as the final 
moves of a checkmate. And the end came swiftly, 
inexorably. > Jelal ed-Din made a last and hopeless 
charge against the horsemen of the guard, and tried 
to withdraw his men toward the river. He was followed 
up, his squadrons broken ; Bela Noyon pressed in 
upon him, and when he gained the steep bank of the 
Indus at last, he had around him no more than seven 
hundred followers. 

Realizing that the end had come, he mounted a fresh 
horse, rid himself of his armour, and with only his 


sword and bow and a quiver of arrows, he forced his 
charger over the edge of the bank, plunging into 
the swift current, and making for the distant shore. 

Genghis Khan had given orders that the prince was 
to be taken alive. The Mongols had drawn in upon 
the last Kharesmians and the Khan lashed his horse 
through the fighting to watch the rider he had seen 
leap from the twenty-foot bank. For a while he gazed 
in silence at Jelal ed-Din. Putting his finger to his 
lips he uttered an ungrudged exclamation of praise. 

" Fortunate should be the father of such a son ! " 

Though he could admire the daring of the Khares- 
mian prince, he did not intend to spare Jelal ed-Din. 
Some of his Mongols wished to try to swim after 
their foe, but the Khan would not allow this. He 
watched Jelal ed-Din reach the far bank, in spite of 
current and waves. The next day he sent a tuman in 
pursuit where the river could be crossed, giving this 
task to Bela Noyon, the same officer who had led a 
division over the cliff paths to the Kharesmian camp. 

Bela Noyon ravaged Multan and Lahore, picked 
up the trail of the fugitive, but lost him among the 
multitudes upon the way to Delhi. The oppressive 
heat astonished the men from the Gobi plateau 
and the noyon turned back at length, saying to the 
Khan : 

" The heat of this place slays men, and the water 
is neither fresh nor clear/* 

So India all except this northern segment was 
spared the Mongol conquest. Jelal ed-Din survived, 
but his moment had passed. He fought against the 
horde again, but as a partisan, an adventurer without 
a country. 


The battle of the Indus was the last stand of the 
Kharesmian chivalry. From Tibet to the Caspian sea 
resistance had ceased, and the survivors of the peoples 
of Islam had become the slaves of the conqueror. And 
with the end of warfare, as in Cathay, the thoughts of 
the old Mongol turned to his homeland. 

" My sons will live to desire such lands and cities 
as these," he said, " but I cannot/' 

He was needed in far Asia. Muhuli had died after 
binding more firmly the Mongol yoke upon the 
Chinese ; in the Gobi the council of the khans was 
restless and bickering ; in the kingdoms of Hia 
rebellion smouldered. Genghis Khan led his horde 
up the Indus. He knew that Hia, on the far slopes 
of Tibet, could be no more than eight hundred miles 
distant, when he entered the long valleys of Kashmir. 
But, as Alexander had done before him, he found 
the road blocked by the massifs of impenetrable 
ranges. Wiser than Alexander in his disappointment, 
he turned back without hesitation and set out to 
retrace his steps around the Roof of the World, to the 
caravan route that he had opened in his invasion. 

He stormed Peshawar and route-marched back to 
Samarkand. In the spring of 1220 he had first seen 
the walls and gardens of Samarkand, and now, in the 
autumn of 1 22 1, his task under the Roof of the World 
had ended. 

" It is time/ 1 the sage, Ye Liu Chutsai, agreed, " to 
make an end of slaying." 

When the horde left the last ruins of the south 
behind them the Khan gave the accustomed order 
to put to death all captives, and in this way perished 
the unhappy multitude that had followed the nomads. 


The women of Mohammedan monarchs, who were 
to be taken to the Gobi, were placed at the roadside 
to wail the last sight of their native land. 

For a moment, it seems, the old Mongol pondered 
the meaning of his conquests. 

" Dost thou think," he asked a savant of Islam, 
" that the blood I have shed will be remembered 
against me by mankind ? " He recalled the higher 
wisdom of Cathay and Islam that he had tried to 
understand, and had dismissed incuriously. " I have 
pondered the wisdom of the sages. I see now I have 
slain without knowledge of what to do rightly. But 
what care I for such men ? " 

To the refugees gathered in Samarkand, who came 
out to meet him in fear, bringing gifts, he was kind. 
He talked with them, explained anew the short- 
comings of their late Shah, who had neither known 
how to keep his promise nor defend his people. He 
appointed governors from among them and extended 
to them what might be called suffrage in the Mongol 
dominion a share in the protection of the Tassa. 
These people would be ruled, before very long, by 
his sons. 

The conqueror was feeling the bite of old wounds, 
and seemed to understand that his time in the world 
was approaching its end. He wished to have things in 
order rebellion quenched, the Tassa enforced, and 
his sons in authority. 

He sent out over the post roads a summons to all 
high officers to attend a great council on the river Syr, 
near the spot where he had first entered Kharesm. 



THE place chosen for the gathering was a meadow 
seven leagues in circuit a place ideal to a 
Mongol's thinking because water fowl filled the marshes 
by the river ; golden pheasants flitted through the 
lush grass. Abundant grazing game to be hunted 
over the downs. The time was early spring, the 
customary month of the kurultat. 

And, punctual to the summons, the leaders of the 
hordes began to arrive. Only the industrious Subotai, 
recalled from Europe, was a little late. 

They came in from all the quarters of the four 
winds, Eagles of the empire, generals from far fron- 
tiers, roving tar-khans^ subject kings and ambassadors. 
They had journeyed far to this Camelot of the nomad 
peers. And they brought with them no mean retinue. 
The kibitkas from Cathay were drawn by matched 
yokes of oxen and covered with silk. On their plat- 
forms fluttered captured banners. 

The officers from the slopes of Tibet had their 
covered wagons gilded and lacquered, drawn by lines 
of ponderous, long-haired yaks with wide horns and 
silky white tails animals greatly prized by the 
Mongols. Tuli, Master of War, coming up from 
Khorassan, brought with him strings of white camels. 
Chatagai, descending from the snows of the ranges 


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I hi- -ho, th, lNf,r., r,f u-l fur til.- .ha-... 


drove in a hundred thousand horses. They were clad, 
these officers of the hordes, in cloth-of-gold and 
silver, covered with sable coats, and wraps of silver- 
grey wolfskins to protect their finery. 

From the T'ian shan came the Idikut of the Ugurs, 
the most cherished of all allies, and the Lion King of 
the Christian folk broad-faced Kirghiz chieftains 
coming to render their allegiance to the conqueror 
long-limbed Turkomans in stately robes. 

The horses, instead of weather-stained leather, were 
barded in jingling chain mail, their harness bright 
with polished silver work and afire with jewels. 

From the Gobi appeared a much-prized youngster, 
Kubilai, the son of Tuli, now nine years old. He had 
been allowed to join in his first hunt, an important 
event for this grandson of an emperor. Genghis Khan 
with his own hand completed the ceremony of 

The leaders of the hordes now gathered in the 
kurultai place, a white pavilion so large that it sheltered 
two thousand men. It had one entrance to be used 
by no one except the Khan ; the warriors bearing 
shields at the great entrance facing south were merely 
a routine guard mount. So rigid was discipline in the 
hordes, and so firmly established was the routine of 
the empire, that no unauthorized person ventured 
within the quarters of the conqueror. 

As they had once brought to the Khan captured 
horses and women and weapons in the Gobi, the chiefs 
of the hordes and the subject kings now offered him 
their gifts of a new sort, the best of the treasure 
gleaned carefully from half the earth. " Never," says 
the chronicler, " was such splendour seen before." 


Instead of marc's milk, the princes of the empire 
had mead of honey and the red and white wines of 
Persia. The Khan himself admitted a fondness for 
the wines of Shiraz. 

He sat now in the gold throne of Mohammed that 
he had brought with him from Samarkand ; beside it 
rested the sceptre and crown of the dead emperor of 
Islam. When the council gathered, the mother of the 
Shah was led in, chains on her wrists. But under the 
throne was placed a square of grey felt woven out of 
animal hair, as a symbol of his old authority in the 

To the assembled leaders out of the east, he 
recounted the campaigns of the last three years. " I 
have gained great mastery," he said gravely, " by 
virtue of the Tassa. Live ye in obedience to the 

The shrewd Mongol wasted no words in boasting 
of his achievements ; the thing to be gained was 
obedience to the law. He no longer needed to advise 
and lead his officers in person. They were able to 
wage war on their own account, and he saw clearly 
the grave danger of a division among them. To 
emphasize the extent of his conquests, he had all the 
visiting ambassadors ushered to the throne one by one. 

To his three sons he spoke a word of warning. 
" Do not allow quarrels to come between you. Be 
faithful and unfailing to Ogotai." 

After that there was feasting for a month in the 
kurultat^ and to this concourse came two most welcome 
guests. Subotai rode in from the borderland of 
Poland, bringing with him Juchi. 

Juchi, the first-born, had been sought out by the 


veteran Orkhon who persuaded him to attend the 
council and to face his father again. So Juchi appeared 
before the Khan and knelt to press his hand to his 
forehead. The old conqueror, who was deeply attached 
to Juchi, was gratified though he made no display 
of affection. The conqueror of the steppes had 
brought as a gift to his sire a hundred thousand 
Kipchak horses. Disliking the court, Juchi asked for 
permission to return to the Volga, and this was 
granted him. 

The concourse broke up, Chatagai riding back to 
his mountains, and the other hordes taking the trail 
to Karakorum. The chronicler relates that every day 
of the journey, Genghis Khan summoned Subotai to 
come to his side and relate his adventures in the 
western world. 



/^ENGHIS KHAN was not destined to spend 
VJT his last years in his homeland. All had been 
prepared for his sons but two things. Two hostile 
powers still survived in the world as the old Khan 
knew it the troublesome king of Hia near Tibet 
and the ancient Sung in southern China. He 
passed a season at Karakorum among his people with 
Bourtai at his side, and then he was in the saddle 
again. Subotai was sent to invade the lands of the 
Sung, and Genghis Khan took upon himself the task 
of quelling the desert clans of Hia for ever. 

This he did. Marching in winter through frozen 
swamps, he found his foes of other days drawn up 
to receive him remnants of Cathayans, armies of 
western China, Turks and all the forces of Hia. The 
chronicle gives us a glimpse of the grim pageant of 
destruction fur-clad Mongols fighting across the ice 
of a river, the allies, seemingly victorious, charging 
e n masse upon the veterans of the Khan's centre, the 
heart of the horde. Three hundred thousand men 
may haye perished here. 

And then the aftermath. Tricked, shaken, and 
hunted down, the remaining warriors of the allies 
fleeing. All men capable of bearing arms put to 
death in the path of the horde. The king of Hia, 



escaped to a mountain citadel, guarded by snow- 
drifted gorges, sending his submission to the inexor- 
able Khan, hiding his hatred and despair under the 
mask of friendship, asking that the past be forgotten. 

" Say to your master," Genghis Khan replied to 
the envoys, " that I have no wish to remember what 
is past. I will hold him in friendship." 

But the Khan would not make an end of war. 
There were the people of the Sung to be humbled, 
as the allies had been. The horde marched in mid- 
winter toward the boundaries of ancient China. 
Ye Liu Chutsai, the sage, dared to protest against 
the annihilation of the Sung. 

" If these people be slain, how then will they aid 
thee, or make wealth for thy sons ? " 

The old conqueror pondered, remembering per- 
haps that after he had made deserts of once populous 
lands the sages of Cathay had helped to keep things 
in order. He answered unexpectedly, " Be thou, 
then, master of subject peoples serve thou my sons 

He would not forgo the military conquest of the 
Sung. That must be finished, to the end. He kept 
his saddle and led his armies across the Yellow river. 
Here the Khan learned of the death of Juchi in the 
steppes. He said that he wished to be alone in 
his tent, and he grieved heavily in silence for his 

Not long since, when Ogotai's little son had been 
slain beside him at Bamiyan, the Khan had com- 
manded the bereaved father not to show sorrow. 
" Obey me in this thing. Thy son is slain. I forbid 
thec to weep 1 " 


Nor did he himself show outwardly that the death 
of Juchi troubled him. The hordes went forward, the 
routine was as usual, but the Khan spoke less with his 
officers and it was noticed that the tidings of a fresh 
victory near the Caspian failed to rouse him, or to 
draw cither comment or praise from him. When the 
horde entered a dense fir forest where snow lay still 
in the shadows, although the sun was warm, he gave 
command to halt. 

He ordered couriers to ride swiftly to his nearest 
son, Tuli, who was camped not far away. When the 
Master of War, now a man grown, dismounted at the 
yurt of the Khan, he found his father lying upon a 
carpet near the fire, wrapped in felt and sable robes. 

" It is clear to me," the old Mongol greeted the 
prince, " that I must leave everything and go hence 
from thee." 

He had been sick for some time, and this sickness, 
he knew now, was draining away his life. He ordered 
to his side the general officers of the horde, and while 
they knelt with Tuli, listening intently to his words, 
he gave them clear directions how to carry on the 
war against the Sung that he had begun but could 
not finish. Tuli, especially, was to take over all lands 
in the east, as Chatagai was to do in the west, while 
Ogotai must be supreme over them, the Kha Khan at 

Like the nomad he was, he died uncomplaining, 
leaving to his sons the greatest of empires and the 
most destructive of armies, as if his possessions had 
been no more than tents and herds. This was in the 
year 12 27, the Year of the Mouse in the Cycle of the 
Twelve Beasts. 


The chronicle tells us that Genghis Khan made 
provision in his last illness for the destruction 
of the Hia king, his old foeman, who was then 
on his way to the horde. The Khan commanded 
that his death be kept secret until this could be 

A spear was thrust, point in the earth, before the 
white yurt of the conqueror which stood apart from 
the rest of the camp. The astrologers and sages who 
came to wait upon the Khan were kept without by 
guards, and only the high officers came and went 
through the entrance, as if their leader were indisposed 
and giving orders from his bed. When the Hia 
monarch and his train reached the Mongols, the 
visitors were invited to a feast, given robes of honour 
and seated among the officers of the horde. Then 
they were slain, to a man. 

Deprived of Genghis Khan, awe-struck at the 
death of the seemingly invincible man who had made 
them masters of all they could desire, the Orkhons 
and princes of the horde turned back to escort the 
body to the Gobi. Before burial it must be shown to 
his people and carried to the abiding place of Bourtai, 
the first wife. 

Genghis Khan had died in the lands of the Sung, 
and to prevent his foemen from discovering the loss 
of the Mongols, the warriors escorting the death car 
cut down all the people they met until they reached 
the edge of the desert. There the men of the horde* 
the veterans of long warfare, mourned aloud as they 
rode beside the funeral car. 

To them it seemed incredible that the great Khan 
should have ceased to go before the standard, and 


that they were no longer to be sent hither and thither 
at his will. 

" O Lord bogdo" cried a grey-haired tar-khan* 
" wilt thou leave us thus ? Thy birth-land and its 
rivers await thee, thy fortunate land with thy golden 
house surrounded by thy heroes await thee. Why hast 
thou left us in this warm land, where so many foemen 
lie dead ? " 

Others took up the mourning as they crossed the 
bed of the barrens. In this way the chronicler has 
written down their lament : 

44 Aforetime thou didst swoop like a falcon ; now a rumbling 
cart bears thee onward, 

O my Khan ! 

" Hast thou in truth left thy wife and children, and the 
council of thy people ? 

O my Khan ! 

44 Wheeling in pride like an eagle, once thou didst lead us ; 
but now thou hast stumbled and fallen^ 
O my KAan/" 

The conqueror was brought home, not to Kara- 
korum, but to the valleys where he had struggled for 
life as a boy, to the heritage that he would not desert. 
The couriers of the hordes mounted and galloped off 
into the prairies, bearing word to the Orkhons and 
princes and the distant generals that Genghis Khan 
was dead. 

When the last officer had come in and dismounted 
at the death yurt, the body was taken to its resting 
place most probably to the forest he himself had 
selected. No one knows the exact burial place. The 
grave was dug under a great tree. 


The Mongols say that a certain clan was exempted 
from military duty and charged to watch the site*, 
and that incense was burned unceasingly in the grove 
until the surrounding forest grew so thick that the 
tall tree was lost among its fellows and all trace of the 
gravc*f vanished. 

A descendant of the conqueror, the Prince of Kalachin, believes that tkf 
great Khan was buried in the Orrlou country, between the loop of the Hoanf 
and the Wall, near Etjen Koro, and that every year the Mongols hold cere- 
monies at the grave, bringing hither the sword and the saddle and the bow 
of Genghis Khan. There is also a legend among the Mongols that every 
year a white horse appears at the grave. 

t See Note XI, The Tomb of Genghis Kuan, page 243. 

Part IF 

TWO years passed in mourning. During these 
two years Tuli remained in Karakorum as 
regent, and at the end of the appointed time the princes 
and generals journeyed back into the Gobi, to select 
the new Kha Khan, or emperor, in obedience to the 
wishes of the dead conqueror. 

They came as monarchs in their own right the 
right of heritage, by the will of Genghis Khan. 
Chatagai, the harsh tempered now the eldest son 
from Central Asia and all the Mohammedan lands : 
Ogotai, the good humoured, from the Gogi plains : 
Batu, the " Splendid," the son of Juchi, from the 
steppes of Russia. 

They had grown from youth to manhood as Mongol 
clansmen ; now they were masters of portions of the 
world, with its riches, that they had not known 
existed. They were Asiatics, raised among barbarians ; 
every one of the four had a powerful army at his 
summons. They had tasted the wine of luxury in 
their new dominions. " My descendants," Genghis 
Khan had said, " will clothe themselves in embroidered 
gold stuffs ; they will nourish themselves with meats, 
and will mount splendid horses. They will press in 
their arms young and fair women, and they will not 



think of that to which they owe all these desirable 

Nothing was more natural than that they should 
have quarrelled and gone to war over their heritage. 
It was almost inevitable, after those two years 
especially in the case of Chatagai, who was now the 
eldest, and entitled by Mongol custom to claim the 
khanship. But the will of the dead conqueror had 
been impressed upon all this multitude. The discipline 
established by an iron hand still held them bound 
together. Obedience fidelity to their brothers and 
the end of quarrelling the Tassa itelf ! 

Many times Genghis Khan had warned them that 
their dominion would vanish and they themselves be 
lost if they did not agree. He had understood that 
this new empire could be held together only by 
submission to the authority of one man. And he 
had chosen not the warlike Tuli, or the inflexible 
Chatagai, but the generous and guileless Ogotai as 
his successor. Keen understanding of his sons had 
dictated this choice. Chatagai would never have 
submitted to Tuli, the youngest ; and the Master of 
War would not long have served his harsh elder 

When the princes assembled at Karakorum, Tuli, 
the Ulugh Noyon, Greatest of Nobles, resigned his 
regency, and Ogotai was asked to accept the throne. 
The Master of Counsel refused, saying it was not 
fitting for him to be honoured above his uncles and 
elder brother. Either because Ogotai was obstinate or 
because the soothsayers were unfavourable, forty days 
passed in uncertainty and anxiety. Then the Orkhons 
and elder warriors waited upon Ogotai and spoke to 


him angrily. " What docst thou ? The Khan himself 
hath chosen thee for his successor 1 " 

Tuli added his voice repeated the last words of his 
father, and Ye Liu Chutsai, the sage Cathayan, 
master of the treasury, used all his wit in averting a 
possible calamity. Tuli, troubled, asked the astrologer- 
minister if this day were not unfavourable. 

" After this," responded the Cathayan at once, 
" no day will be favourable." 

He urged Ogotai to mount without delay to the 
gold throne on the felt-covered dais, and as the new 
emperor was doing so, Ye Liu Chutsai went to his 
side and spoke to Chatagai. 

" Thou art the elder," he said, " but thou art a 
subject. Being the elder, seize this moment to be the 
first to prostrate thyself before the Throne." 

An instant's hesitation and Chatagai threw himself 
down before his brother. All the officers and nobles 
in the council pavilion followed his example, and 
Ogotai was acknowledged Kha Khan. The throng 
went out and bent their heads to the south, toward the 
sun, and the multitude of the camp did likewise. 
Then followed days of feasting. The treasure that 
Genghis Khan had left, the riches gathered from all 
the corners of unknown lands, were given to the other 
princes, the officers and Mongols of the army.* 
Ogotai pardoned all men accused of wrong-doing 
since the death of his father. He reigned tolerantly 
for a Mongol of that day, and heeded the advice of 
Ye Liu Chutsai,*f who laboured with heroic fortitude 

A legend exists that forty fair young women in jewelled garments and 
forty fine stallions were taken to the grave of Genghis Khan and there slain. 
*t See Notes XII and XIII, Ye Liu Chutsai and Ogotai, pages 245 and 248. 


to consolidate the empire of his masters on the one 
hand, and to restrain, on the other hand, the Mongols 
from further annihilation of human beings. He dared 
oppose the terrible Subotai at a time when the 
Orkhon who was carrying on war in the lands of 
the Sung with Tuli wished to massacre the inhabi- 
tants of a great city. " During all these years in 
Cathay," the wise chancellor argued, "our armies 
have lived upon the crops and the riches of these 
people. If we destroy the men, what will the bare 
land avail us ? " 

Ogotai conceded the point and the lives of a 
million and a half Chinese who had flocked into the 
city were spared. It was Ye Liu Chutsai who put 
the tribute gathering in regular form one head of 
cattle for every hundred from the Mongols, and a 
certain sum in silver or silk from every family of 
Cathay. He argued Ogotai into appointing lettered 
Cathayans to high office in the treasury and adminis- 

" To make a vase," he suggested, " thou dost avail 
thyself of a potter. To keep accounts and records, 
learned men should be used." 

" Well," retorted the Mongol, " what hinders thcc 
from making use of them ? " 

While Ogotai built himself a new palace, Ye Liu 
Chutsai established schools for young Mongols. Five 
hundred wagons drove in each day to Karakorum, 
now known as Qrdu-baligh, the Court City. These 
carts brought provisions, grain and precious goods to 
the storehouses and treasury of the emperor. The rule 
of the desert khans was firmly fastened upon half 
the world. 


Unlike the empire of Alexander, the dominion of 
the Mopgol conqueror remained intact after his death. 
He had made the Mongol clans obedient to one ruler ; 
he had given them a rigid code of laws, primitive, but 
well adapted to his purpose, and during his military 
overlordship he had laid the foundations for the 
administration of the empire. In this last task, Ye 
Liu Chutsai was of priceless aid. 

Perhaps the greatest heritage the conqueror left 
his sons was the Mongol army. By his will, Ogotai, 
Chatagai and Tuli divided up his main horde his 
personal army, as it might be called. But the system 
of mobilization, of training, and manoeuvring in war 
remained as Genghis Khan had formed it. More- 
over, in Subotai and others, the sons of the conqueror 
had veteran generals quite equal to the task of 
extending the empire. 

He had instilled into his sons and his subjects the 
idea that the Mongols were the natural masters of the 
world, and he had so broken the resistance of the 
strongest empires that the completion of the work was 
a comparatively simple matter for them and Subotai. 
It might be called mopping up after the first 

In the early years of Ogotai's reign a Mongol 
general, Charmagan, defeated Jelal ed-Din and put 
an end to him for ever and consolidated the regions 
west of- the Caspian, such as Armenia. At the 
same time Subotai and Tuli advanced far south of 
the Hoang Ho and subdued the remnants of the 

In 1235 Ogotai held a council, and it resulted in the 


second great wave of Mongol conquest. Batu, first 
Khan of the Golden Horde, was sent with * Subotai 
into the west, to the sorrow of Europe as far as the 
Adriatic and the gates of Vienna.* Other armies took 
the field in Korea, China and southern Persia. This 
wave withdrew upon the death of Ogotai in 1241 
Subotai being again wrenched back by the inflexible 
summons from his goal, Europe. 

The ten years that followed were full of cross- 
currents, the growing feud between the house of 
Chatagai and that of Ogotai the brief appearance of 
Kuyuk, who may or may not have been a Nestorian 
Christian, but who ruled through Christian ministers, 
one of them the son of Ye Liu Chutsai, and who had 
a chapel built before his tent. Then the rule passed 
from the house of Ogotai to the sons of Tuli Mangu 
and Kubilai Khan.*f And the third and most exten- 
sive wave of conquest swept the world. 

Hulagu, the brother of Kubilai, aided by Subotai's 
son, invaded Mesopotamia, took Baghdad and Damas- 
cus breaking for ever the power of the Kalifates 
and came almost within sight of Jerusalem. Antioch, 
held by the descendants of Christian crusaders, became 
subject to the Mongols, who entered Asia Minor as 
far as Smyrna, and within a week's march of Con- 

At almost the same time Kubilai launched his 
armada against Japan, and extended his frontiers down 
to the Malay states, and beyond Tibet into Bengal. 
His reign (1259 to 1294) was the golden age of the 

" La faix qui regnait dans le fond del* Orient devintjunc 
Abel Remusat. See note on Subotai in Europe. 

*| Note XIV, The Last Court of the Nomads, page 252. 


Mongols.* Kubilai departed from the customs of his 
fathers, moved the court to Cathay, and made himself 
more a Chinese in habits than a Mongol. *f He ruled 
with moderation and treated his subject peoples with 
humanity. Marco Polo has left us a vivid picture of 
his court. 

But the change of the court to Cathay was an omen 
of the break-up of the central empire. The Il-khans 
of Persia Hulagu's descendants, who reached their 
greatest power under Ghazan Khan about 1300 
were at too great a distance from the Kha Khan to be 
in touch with him. Besides, they were fast becoming 
Mohammedans. Such, also, was the situation of the 
Golden Horde near Russia. Kubilai's Mongols 
were being converted to Buddhism. Religious and 
political wars followed the death of this grandson of 
Genghis Khan. The Mongol empire dissolved gradu- 
ally into separate kingdoms. 

About 1400 a Turkish conqueror, Timur-i-lang 
(Tamerlane) brought together the central Asian and 
Persian fragments, and trounced the Golden Horde 
founded by Batu the son of Juchi. 

Until 1368 the Mongols remained masters of China, 
and it was 1555 before they lost their last strongholds 
in Russia to Ivan Grodznoi (the Terrible). Around 
the Caspian sea their descendants, the Uzbegs, were 
a power under Shaibani in 1500, and drove Babar 
the Tiger, a descendant of Genghis Khan, into India, 
where he made himself the first of the great Moghuls. 

" He ruled over a wider extent than any Mongol or indeed any other 
sovereign. He was the first to govern by peaceful means. The splendour 
of his court and the magnificence of his entourage easily surpassed that 
of any Western ruler." 1 'k* Cambridge Medieval History. Vol. IV. p. 645. 

*f See Note XV, The Grandson of Genghis Khan in the Holy Land. 
page 265. 


It was the middle of the eighteenth century, six 
hundred years after the birth of Genghis Khan, before 
the last scions of the conqueror relinquished their 
strongholds. Then, in Hindustan, the Moghuls * 
gave way to the British, the Mongols in the east yielded 
to the armies of the illustrious Chinese emperor, 
K'ien lung. 

The Tatar khans of the Crimea became the subjects 
of Catherine the Great at the same time that the 
unfortunate Kalmuk or Torgut horde evacuated its 
pastures on the Volga and started the long and dread- 
ful march eastward to its former home a march 
vividly pictured by De Quincey in his Flight of a 
Tatar Tribe. 

A glance at a map of Asia in the mid-eighteenth 
century will show the final refuge of the nomad 
clansmen, descendants of the horde of Genghis Khan. 
In the vast spaces between stormy Lake Baikul and 
the salt sea of Aral barely charted in the maps of 
that day, and marked vaguely " Tartary " or " Indepen- 
dent Tartary " in the ranges of the mid-continent, 
they wandered from summer to winter pasture, living 
in their felt yurts, driving their herds Karaits, Kal- 
muks and Mongols, utterly unaware that through these 
same valleys Prester John of Asia had once fled to his 
death, and the yak-tail standard of Genghis Khan 
had advanced to terrify the world. ^ 

In this fashion ended the Mongol empire, dissolving 
into the nomad clans from which it had sprung, 
leaving remnants of peaceful herdsmen where warriors 
had once massed. 

* Moghuls eo the first Europeans to visit India pronounced the word 


The brief and terrible pageant of the Mongol 
horsemen has passed almost without trace. The desert 
city of Karakorum is buried under the sand-waves of 
the barrens ; the grave of Genghis Khan lies hidden 
somewhere in a forest near one of the rivers of his 
birthplace ; the riches he gathered from his conquest 
were given to the men that served him. No tomb 
marks the burial place of Bourtai, the wife of his 
youth. No Mongol literati of his day gathered the 
events of his life into an epic. 

His achievement is recorded for the most part by 
his enemies. So devastating was his impact upon 
civilization that virtually a new beginning had to be 
made in half the world. The empire of Cathay, of 
Prester John, of Black Cathay, of Kharesm, and after 
his death the Kalifate of Baghdad, of Russia, and for 
a while the principalities of Poland, ceased to be. 
When this indomitable barbarian conquered a nation 
all other warfare came to an end. The whole scheme 
of things, whether sorry or otherwise, was altered, 
and among the survivors of a Mongol conquest peace 
endured for a long time. 

The blood-feuds of the grand princes of ancient 
Russia lords of Twer and Vladimir and Susdal, 
were buried under a greater calamity. All these 
figures of an elder world appear to us only as shadows. 
Empires crumbled under the Mongol avalanche, and 
monarchs fled to their death in wild fear. What would 
have happened if Genghis Khan had not lived, we 
do not know. 

What did happen was that the Mongol, like the 
Roman peace, enabled culture to spring up anew. 
Nations had been shuffled to and fro or rather the 


remnants of them Mohammedan science and skill 
carried bodily into the Far East, Chinese inventive- 
ness and administrative ability had penetrated into 
the west. In the devastated gardens of Islam, scholars 
and architects enjoyed, if not a golden, a silver age 
under the Mongol Il-khans ; and the thirteenth 
century was notable in China for its literature, 
especially plays, and its magnificence the century 
of the Yuan. 

When political coherence began again after the 
retreat of the Mongol hordes, something very natural 
but quite unexpected happened. Out of the ruins of 
the warring Russian princedoms emerged the empire 
of Ivan the Great, and China, united for the first 
time by the Mongols, appeared as a single dominion. 

With the coming of the Mongols and their foes 
the Mamluks, the long chapter of the crusades ended. 
For a while under Mongol overlordship, Christian 
pilgrims could visit the Holy Sepulchre in safety, and 
Mohammedans the temple of Solomon. For the first 
time the priests of Europe could venture into far 
Asia, and venture they did, looking about them in 
vain for the old Man of the Mountain who had harried 
the crusaders, and the kingdoms of Prester John and 

In this vast shaking up of human beings, perhaps 
the most vital result was the destruction of the growing 
power of Islam. With the host of Kharesm disap- 
peared the main military strength of the Moham- 
medans, and with Baghdad and Bokhara the old culture 
of the Kalifs and imams. Arabic ceased to be the 
universal language of scholars in half the world. 
The Turks were driven west, and one clan, the Oth- 


mans (Ottomans, so called) became in time the masters 
of Constantinople. A red hat lama, called out of 
Tibet to preside at the coronation of Kubilai, brought 
with him out of his mountains the hierarchy of the 
priests of Lhassa. 

Genghis Khan, the destroyer, had broken down the 
barriers of the Dark Ages. He had opened up roads. 
Europe came into contact with the arts of Cathay. At 
the court of his son, Armenian princes and Persian 
grandees rubbed shoulders with Russian princes. 

A general reshuffling of ideas followed the opening 
of the roads. An abiding curiosity about far Asia 
stirred Europeans. Marco Polo followed Fra Rubru- 
quis to Kambalu. Two centuries later Vasco da Gama 
set forth to find his way by sea to the Indies. Columbus 
sailed to reach, not America, but the land of the Great 



THE grim pageantry of death that appeared in 
the tracks of the Mongol horsemen has not 
been painted in continuous detail in this volume. 
The slaughter that cast whole peoples into death- 
throes is well depicted in the general histories of the 
Mongols, written by Europeans, Mohammedans and 
Chinese. Little allusion is made here to such scenes 
of carnage as the blotting out of Kiev, the Court of 
the Golden Heads, as the Mongols called the ancient 
Byzantine citadel with its gilt domes. Here the 
torturing of old people, the ravishing of younger 
women, and the hunting down of children ended in 
utter desolation that was rendered more ghastly by 
the following pestilence and famine. The effluvium of 
festering bodies was so great that even the Mongols 
avoided such places and named them Mou-baligh) 
City of Woe. 

The student of history will find vital significance 
in this unprecedented maiming and subsequent re- 
building of human races. The impact of the Mongols, 
brought about by Genghis Khan, has been well sum- 
med up by the authors of the Cambridge Medieval 

209 o 


" Unchecked by human valour, they were able to 
overcome the terrors of vast deserts, the barriers of 
mountains and seas, the severities of climate, and the 
ravages of famine and pestilence. No dangers could 
appal them, no stronghold could resist them, no 
prayer for mercy could move them. . . . We are 
confronted with a new power in history, with a force 
that was to bring to an abrupt end as a deus ex machtna^ 
many dramas that would otherwise have ended in a 
deadlock, or would have dragged on an interminable 


This " new power in history " the ability of one 
man to alter human civilization began with Genghis 
Khan and ended with his grandson Kubilai, when the 
Mongol empire tended to break up. It has not 
reappeared since. 

In this volume no effort has been made to apologize 
for, or further to drench with blood, the character of 
Genghis Khan. Allowance has been made for the 
fact that most of our knowledge of the conqueror has 
been based, in the past, upon the accounts given by 
medieval Europeans, Persians and Syrians, who with 
the .Chinese proper were the greatest victims of Mongol 
destructivencss. Caesar wrote his own memoirs of the 
Gallic conquest, and Alexander had his Arrian and 
Quintus Curtius. 

We find in Genghis Khan when we look at the 
man in his own environment a ruler who did not 
put to death any of his sons, ministers or generals. 
Both Juchi and Kassar, his brother, gave him some 
occasion for cruelty, and he might have been expected 
to execute the Mongol officers who allowed themselves 
to be defeated. Ambassadors from all peoples came 


to him and returned safely. Nor do we find that he 
tortured captives except in unusual circumstances. 

The warlike and kindred nations, the Karalts, 
Ugurs, and Lia^-tung the Men of Iron were dealt 
with leniently, as were the Armenians, Georgians and 
the remnants of the crusaders by his descendants. 
Genghis Khan was careful to preserve what he thought 
might be useful to himself and his people ; the rest 
was destroyed. As he advanced farther from his 
homeland, into strange civilizations, this destruction 
became almost universal. 

We moderns are beginning to understand how this 
unprecedented annihilation of human life and works 
earned for him the vituperation of Mohammedans. 
Just as his unexampled genius gained for him the 
veneration of his Buddhists. 

Because Genghis Khan did no*, like Mohammed 
the prophet, make war on the world for a religion, or 
like Alexander and Napoleon for personal and 
political aggrandizement, we have been mystified. 
The explanation of the mystery lies in the primitive 
simplicity of the Mongol's character. 

He took from the world what he wanted for his 
sons and his people. He did this by war, because he 
knew no other means. What he did not want he 
destroyed, because he did not know what else to 
do with it. 



IN the middle of the twelfth century reports 
reached Europe of the victories of a Christian 
monarch of Asia over the Turks " lohannes Presbyter 
Rex Armenia et India." Latter-day research assures 
us that this first inkling of a Christian king east of 
Jerusalem came from tidings of victories gained over 
the Mohammedans by John, High Constable of 
Georgia, in the Caucasus a region then vaguely 
associated with both Armenia and India. 

It was recalled that the three Magi had emerged 
from this region ; the crusading spirit flamed in 
Europe and stories of an all-powerful Christian 
potentate in far Asia gained greatly in the telling. 
The Nestorian Christians, scattered from Armenia to 
Cathay, saw fit to indite and send to the Pope Alex- 
ander III a letter purporting to be from Prester John 
describing vast splendour and many wonders in the 
medieval manner processions over the desert, an 
entourage of seventy kings, fabulous beasts, a city upon 
the sands. In short a pretty good summary of the 
myths of the day. 

But so far as there existed truth in the description, 
it fitted Wang Khan (pronounced by the Nestorians 
Ung Khan, or " King John ") of the Karaits, who 
were largely Christians. His city of Karakorum might 



be termed the stronghold of the long-neglected 
Ncstorians of Asia. It was a desert city, and he was 
an emperor, having khans or kings for subjects. 
Various chronicles mention the conversion of a king 
of the " Keriths." Marco Polo found in Wang Khan 
the actor of the shadowy rSU of Prester John.* 

bee Yule CordifT, Trawls oj Marco Polo, I, 230-237. Also Baring GotiM'f 
Myth$ oj the Middle Ages. 



1. " It is ordered to believe that there is only one 
God, creator of heaven and earth, who alone gives 
life and death, riches and poverty as pleases Him and 
who has over everything an absolute power. 

2. Leaders of a religion, preachers, monks, persons 
who are dedicated to religious practice, the criers of 
mosques, physicians and those who bathe the bodies of 
the dead arc to be freed from public charges. 

3. It is forbidden under penalty of death that any- 
one, whoever he be, shall be proclaimed emperor 
unless he has been elected previously by the princes, 
khans, officers and other Mongol nobles in a general 

4. It is forbidden chieftains of nations and clans 
subject to the Mongols to hold honorary titles. 

5. Forbidden ever to make peace with a monarch, 
a prince or a people who have not submitted. 

6. The ruling that divides men of the army into 
tens, hundreds, thousands, and ten thousands is to be 
maintained. This arrangement serves to raise an army 
in a short time, and to form the units of commands. 

7. The moment a campaign begins, each soldier 
must receive his arms from the hand of the officer who 
has them in charge. The soldier must keep them in 


good order, and have them inspected by his officer 
before a battle. 

8. Forbidden, under death penalty, to pillage the 
enemy before the general commanding gives permis- 
sion ; but after this permission is given the soldier must 
have the same opportunity as the officer, and must be 
allowed to keep what he has carried off, provided he 
has paid his share to the receiver for the emperor. 

9. To keep the men of the army exercised, a great 
hunt shall be held every winter. On this account, it 
is forbidden any man of the empire to kill between 
the months of March and October, deer, bucks, roe- 
bucks, hares, wild ass and some birds. 

10. Forbidden, to cut the throats of animals slain 
for food ; they must be bound, the chest opened and 
the heart pulled out by the hand of the hunter. 

11. It is permitted to eat the blood and entrails of 
animals though this was forbidden before now. 

1 2. (A list of privileges and immunities assured to 
the chieftains and officers of the new empire.) 

13. Every man who does not go to war must work 
for the empire, without reward, for a certain time. 

14. Men guilty of the theft of a horse or steer or 
a thing of equal value will be punished by death and 
their bodies cut into two parts. For lesser thefts the 
punishment shall be, according to the value of the 
thing stolen, a number of blows of a staff seven, 
seventeen, twenty-seven, up to seven hundred. But 
this bodily punishment may be avoided by paying 
nine times the worth of the thing stolen. 

1 5. No subject of the empire may take a Mongol 
for servant or slave. Every man, except in rare cases, 
must join the army. 


1 6. To prevent the flight of alien slaves, it is for- 
bidden to give them asylum, food or clothing, under 
pain of death. Any man who meets an escaped slave 
and does not bring him back to his master will be 
punished in the same manner. 

17. The law of marriage orders that every man 
shall purchase his wife, and that marriage between the 
first and second degrees of kinship is forbidden. 
A man may marry two sisters, or have several concu- 
bines. The women should attend to the care of 
property, buying and selling at their pleasure. Men 
should occupy themselves only with hunting and war. 
Children born of slaves are legitimate as the children 
of wives. The offspring of the first woman shall be 
honoured above other children and shall inherit 

1 8. Adultery is to be punished by death, and those 
guilty of it may be slain out of hand. 

19. If two families wish to be united by marriage 
and have only young children, the marriage of these 
children is allowed, if one be a boy and the other a 
girl. If the children are dead, the marriage contract 
may still be drawn up. 

20. It is forbidden to bathe or wash garments in 
running water during thunder. 

21. Spies, false witnesses, all men given to infamous 
vices, and sorcerers are condemned to death. 

22. Officers and chieftains who fail in their duty, 
or do not come at the summons of the Khan are to be 
slain, especially in remote districts. If their offence be 
less grave, they must come in person before the Khan/ 9 

These examples of the laws of Genghis Khan are 


translated from Pltis de la Croix, who explains that 
he has not been able to come upon a complete list of 
the laws a " Tassa Gcngizcani" He has gleaned 
these twenty-two rulings from various sources, the 
Persian chroniclers, and Fras Rubruquis and Carpini. 
The list given is palpably incomplete, and has come 
down to us from alien sources. 

The explanation of the curious tenth law may 
probably be found in existing religious prejudices as 
to the manner of killing game to be eaten. The 
eleventh rule seems to aim at preserving a possible 
source of food in time of famine. The twentieth law 
concerning water and thunder is explained by 
Rubruquis to prevent the Mongols, who were very 
much afraid of thunder, from throwing themselves 
into lakes and rivers during a storm, 

Petis de la Croix says that the Tassa of Genghis 
Khan was followed by Timur-i-lang. Babar, the first 
of the Moghuls (Mongols) of India, says : " My 
forefathers and family had always sacredly observed 
the rules of Chcngiz. In their parties, their courts, 
their festivals and their entertainments, in their 
sitting down and rising up, they never acted contrary 
to the institutions of Chengiz." Memoirs of Eahar^ 
Emperor oj Hindustan Erskine and Ley den edition, 
1826, p. 202. 



IT is a common and quite natural mistake among 
historians to describe the Mongol army as a vast 
multitude. Even Dr. Stanley Lane-Poole, one of the 
most distinguished of modern authorities, cannot 
resist the inevitable hi nehaiet and speaks of " Chingkiz 
Khan followed by hordes of nomads like the sands of 
the sea without number." Turkey (Stories of the 

In our understanding of the Mongols we have 
advanced sufficiently far beyond the ideas of Matthew 
Paris and the medieval monks to be certain that the 
horde of Genghis Khan was not, like the Huns, a 
migratory mass, but a disciplined army of invasion. 
The personnel of the horde is given by Sir Henry 
Howorth as follows : 

Imperial Guards 

The Centre, under Tuli 

Right Wing 

Left Wing 

Other Contingents 


This is apparently the strength of the army at the 
time of the war against the Shah and the west. It is, 
therefore, the largest assembled by Genghis Khan. 



The other contingents consisted of the 10,000 
Cathayans, and the forces of the Idikut of the Ugurs, 
and the Khan of Almalyk the last two being sent 
back after the invasion began. 

The brilliant scholar, Lon Cahun, maintains that 
an army of Mongol effectives did not number over 
30,000. There being three such army corps in this 
campaign besides Juchi's 20,000 and the allies the 
host would amount to some 150,000 warriors by this 
calculation. And certainly no greater numbers could 
have existed for a winter in the barren valleys of high 

The army commanded by Genghis Khan at the 
time of his death is known to have consisted of four 
corps with the imperial guard some 130,000 men. 
Turning to the scanty figures available as to the 
populations of the Gobi lands, we can approximate 
the total at no more than 1,500,000 souls. From this 
number no more than 200,000 effectives could very 
well be mustered. Brigadier-General Sir Percy Sykes, 
in his Persia, comments on the " Mongols who were 
numerically weak and fought thousands of miles 
from their base." 

Contemporary Mohammedan chroniclers habitually 
exaggerated the numbers of the horde, mentioning 
five hundred to eight hundred thousand. But all 
available evidence indicates that Genghis Khan per- 
formed during the years 1219-1225, the remarkable 
military feat of subjecting the country from Tibet to 
the Caspian sea, with no more than 100,000 men 
and from the Dnieper to the China sea with no more 
than 250,000, in all. And of this number probably 
not more than half were Mongols. The chronicles 


mention 50,000 Turkoman allies at the end of the 
campaigns ; Juchi's forces were augmented by throngs 
of the wild Kipchak, the Desert People. In China 
the ancestors of the present-day Koreans and Manchus 
were fighting under the Mongol standards. 

In the reign of Ogotai, the son of Genghis Khan, 
more Turkish tribes of mid-Asia joined the Mongols, 
who gave them their fill of fighting. These made 
up the greater part of the army with which Subotai 
and Batu conquered eastern Europe. Certainly, 
Ogotai had more than half a million effective fighting 
men in his armies, and Mangu and Kubilai, grand- 
sons of Genghis Khan, double that number. 


THE horde of Genghis Khan followed a fixed 
plan in invading a hostile country. This method 
met with unvarying success until the Mongols were 
checked by the Mamluks in their advance upon Egypt 
across the Syrian desert about 1270. 

1. A kurultai, or general council, was summoned 
at the headquarters of the Kha Khan. All higher 
officers except those given permission to remain on 
active service were expected to attend the council. 
Here the situation was discussed, and the plan of the 
campaign explained. Routes were selected, and the 
various divisions chosen for service. 

2. Spies were sent out, and informers brought in 
to be questioned. 

3. The doomed country was entered from several 
points at once. The separate divisions or army corps 
each had its general commanding, who moved toward 
a fixed objective. He was at liberty to manoeuvre, 
and to engage the enemy at his discretion, but must 
keep in touch by courier with headquarters the 
Khan or Orkhon. 

4. The separate divisions posted corps of obser- 
vation before the larger fortified towns, while the 
neighbouring district was ravaged. Supplies were 
gathered off the country and a temporary base estab- 



lished if the campaign was to be a long one. Seldom 
did the Mongols merely screen a strong city ; they 
were more apt to invest it a tuman or two remaining 
behind with captives and engines for siege work, 
while the main force moved on. 

When faced by a hostile army in the field, the 
Mongols followed one of two courses. If possible, 
they surprised the enemy by a rapid march of a day 
and a night two or more Mongol divisions concen- 
trating at the place of battle at a given hour, as in 
disposing of the Hungarians near Pesth in 1241. 
If this did not succeed, the enemy would be surrounded, 
or the Mongols would envelop one flank, in the swift 
tulughmd) or " standard sweep. 

Other expedients were to feign flight and with- 
draw for several days until the hostile forces became 
scattered or off their guard. Then the Mongols 
would mount fresh horses and turn to attack. This 
manoeuvre brought disaster to the powerful Russian 
host near the Dnieper. 

Often in this deceptive retreat they would extend 
their line until the enemy was surrounded without 
realizing it. If the hostile troops massed together 
and fought bravely, the Mongol enveloping line 
would open, allowing them to retreat. They would 
then be attacked on the march. This was the fate of 
the Bokharan army. 

Many of these expedients were practised by the 
resourceful early Turks, the Hiung-nu, from whom 
the Mongols themselves were in part descended. The 
Cathayans were accustomed to manoeuvre in cavalry 
columns, and the Chinese proper knew all the rules of 
strategy. It remained for Genghis Khan to supply 


the inflexible purpose and the rare ability to do the 
right thing at the right time and to hold his men 
under iron restraint. 

" Even the Chinese said that he led his armies like 
a god. The manner in which he moved large bodies of 
men over vast distances without an apparent effort, 
the judgment he showed in the conduct of several 
wars in countries far apart from each other, his 
strategy in unknown regions, always on the alert yet 
never allowing hesitation or overcaution to interfere 
with his enterprises, the sieges he brought to a success- 
ful termination, his brilliant victories, a succession of 
* suns of Austerlitz,' all combined, make up the picture 
of a career to which Europe can offer nothing that 
will surpass, if indeed she has anything to bear com- 
parison with it " so Demetrius Boulger sums up the 
military genius of the great Mongol. (A Short 
History of China> p. 100.) 



WE have very little accurate knowledge of any 
of the Chinese inventions before Genghis Khan 
and his Mongols opened up the road into that much 
secluded empire. After then, that is after 1211, we 
hear of gunpowder frequently. It was used in the 
ho-pao or fire-projectors. 

In one siege the ho-pao are mentioned as burning 
and destroying wooden towers. The discharge of 
the powder in the fire projectors made " a noise like 
thunder, heard at a distance of a hundred //'." This 
means about thirty miles, but is probably an exagger- 
ation. At the siege of Kaifong in 1232 a Chinese 
annalist records the following : "As the Mongols 
had dug themselves pits under the earth where they 
were sheltered from missiles, we decided to bind 
with iron the machines called chin-tien-lei (a kind 
of fire-projector) and lowered them into the places 
where the Mongol sappers were ; they exploded and 
blew into pieces men and shields." 

Again, in the time of Kubilai Khan : " The 
Ertipcror . . . ordered a fire gun to be discharged ; 
the report caused a panic among the (enemy) troops." 

Dr. Herbert Gowen of the University of Washington 
points out a Japanese reference to these Mongol 
weapons, taken from a fourteenth century source. 



" Iron balls, like footballs, were let fly with a sound 
like cartwheels rolling down a steep declivity, and 
accompanied by flashes like lightning. 11 

It is clear that the Chinese and Mongols knew the 
detonating effect of gunpowder ; it is also clear that 
their fire-projectors were used chiefly to burn or 
frighten the enemy. They did not know how to cast 
cannon, and made little progress with projectiles, 
depending still on the massive torsion and counter- 
weight siege engines. 

Now these same Mongols overran central Europe 
in 1238-40 and were still in what is now Russian 
Poland or Polish Russia during the lifetime of the 
monk Schwartz. Freiburg was well within the area 
of their conquest, and the German monk must have 
worked at his inventions within some three hundred 
miles of a Mongol garrison. (In justice to Schwartz's 
claim one must add that there is no established record 
of the Mongols using powder in Europe. But it 
must be remembered that merchants were constantly 
dealing with them and passing back into the European 

Turning to Friar Roger Bacon, we find that he 
did not, it seems, produce any gunpowder for public 
use himself. He recorded the existence of such a 
compound, and its fulminating qualities. Roger 
Bacon met, talked with and availed himself of the 
geographical and other knowledge gained by Friar 
William of Rubruk, who was sent by St. Louis of 
France as envoy to the Mongols. The Opus Majus 
of Roger Bacon says concerning the book of William 
of Rubruk " which book I have seen, and with its 
author I have talked." (Against this it can be argued 


that Rubruk's book makes no mention of gun- 
powder, and that we cannot assume he became 
acquainted with it during his half-year's sojourn at 
the Mongol court, while Bacon's first mention of the 
specific ingredients of powder that is, of saltpetre 
and sulphur ante-dates slightly Rubruk's return 
from his journey.) 

It is a matter purely of individual opinion how 
much weight one chooses to give to the circumstance 
that the two ostensible inventors of gunpowder in 
Europe both lived during the seventy-five odd years 
when Europe was aroused by the Mongol invasions, 
and the weapons used by the invaders, and both had 
contact of sorts with the Mongols. 

But there is indisputable evidence that fire-arm* 
and cannon both began to appear in Germany about 
the time of the Monk Schwartz. Cannon were 
improved and developed rapidly in Europe and 
entered Asia by way of Constantinople and the Turks. 
Thus we find Babar, the first of the Moghuls, equipped 
with large bore-cannon, handled by Roumis (Turks) 
in 1525. And the first metal cannon were cast in 
China by Jesuits in the seventeenth century. 

And a curious picture it is we see the European 
Cossacks, invading the dominion of the Tartars in 
1581 with serviceable muskets, while the men of 
Asia dragged out an unloaded cannon, ignorant of 
its use, expecting it to blast the invaders. 

To sum up : The Chinese made gunpowder and 
understood its explosive qualities long before Friars 
Bacon and Schwartz, but put it to little use in warfare. 
Whether the Europeans learned about it from them 
or discovered it on their own account is an open 


question ; but Europeans certainly made the first 
serviceable cannon. 

The truth, probably, will never be known. It is 
curious that Matthew Paris and Thomas of Spalato 
and other medieval chroniclers speak of the fear 
inspired by the Mongols who carried with them smoke 
and flame into battle. This might be an allusion to 
the trick often practised by the troopers of the Gobi, 
of setting fire to the dry grass of a countryside and 
advancing behind the flames. But very probably 
this may indicate the use of gunpowder which was 
not yet known in Europe by the Mongols, in their 
fire pots. Carpini has a curious reference to a species 
of flame thrower used by the Mongol horsemen, and 
fanned by some kind of bellows. 

At all events, this apparition of flame and smoke 
among the Mongols was accepted by our medieval 
chroniclers as certain indication that they were demons. 



WHEN the Mongol divisions under Subotai and 
Chep Noyon were forcing their way through 
the Caucasus they encountered and defeated an army 
of Christian Georgians. Rusudan, queen of the 
Georgians, sent to the Pope a letter by David, bishop 
of Ani, in which she stated that the Mongols had 
displayed before their ranks a standard bearing the 
Cross and that this had deceived the Georgians into 
thinking that the Mongols were Christians. 

Again at the battle of Liegnitz, the Polish 
chroniclers relate that the Mongols appeared with 
" a great standard bearing an emblem like the Greek 
letter X." One historian observes that this might 
have been a device of the shamans to ridicule the Cross, 
and the emblem might have been formed by the 
crossed thigh-bones of a sheep, used frequently by the 
shamans in divination. It was rendered terrifying by 
the clouds of smoke that eddied up from the pots 
carried by the long-robed attendants of the standard. 

It is not likely that military leaders as intelligent 
as the Mongol Orkhons would endeavour to deceive 
tn enemy by carrying a cross before them. It is 
possible that Nestorian Christians in the Mongol 
army might have marched with the Cross, and that 
priests were seen accompanying it at Liegnitz and 
perhaps carrying censers. 




THE test of strength between Mongol and 
European did not come during the lifetime of 
Genghis Khan. It followed the great council of 1235, 
in the Khanship of Ogotai. 

Briefly, this is what happened : 

Batu, the son of Juchi, marched west with the 
Golden Horde to take possession of the lands galloped 
over by Subotai in 1223. From 1238 to the autumn 
of 1240 Batu, the "Splendid," overran the Volga 
clans, Russian cities and the steppes of the Black Sea, 
finally storming Kiev and sending raiding columns 
into southern Poland, or rather Ruthcnia, since Poland 
was then divided into a number of principalities. 

When the snows melted in March, 1 24 1 , the Mongol 
headquarters was north of the Carpathians between 
modern Lemberg and Kiev. Subotai, the directing 
genius of the campaign, was confronted by the 
following enemies : 

In front of him Boleslas the Chaste, overlord of 
Poland, had assembled his host. Beyond, to the north, 
in Silesia, Henry the Pious was gathering an army 
30,000 strong of Poles, Bavarians, Teutonic Knights 
and Templars out of France, who had volunteered to 
repel this invasion of barbarians. A hundred miles or 
80 behind Boleslas, the king of Bohemia was mobilizing 



a still stronger army, receiving contingents from 
Austria, Saxony and Brandenburg. 

On the left front of the Mongols, Mieceslas of 
Galicia and other lords were preparing to defend their 
lands in the Carpathians. On the Mongol left, farther 
away, the Magyar host of Hungary, a hundred 
thousand strong, was mustering under the banner of 
Bela IV, the king, beyond the Carpathian mountains. 

If Batu and Subotai turned south into Hungary, 
they would have left the Polish army at their rear ; 
if they advanced due west, to meet the Poles, the 
Hungarians would be on their flank. 

Subotai and Batu seem to have been perfectly well 
aware of the preparations of the Christian hosts. Their 
scouting expeditions of the previous year had brought 
them valuable information about the country and the 
monarchs opposed to them. On the other hand, the 
Christian kings had little knowledge of the movements 
of the Mongols. 

Batu acted as soon as the ground was dry enough 
for his horses to move over in spite of the marshes 
along the Pripet and the damp forests that fringed the 
Carpathian ranges. He divided his host into four army 
corps, sending the strongest, under two reliable 
generals, grandsons of Genghis Khan, Kaidu and 
Baibars, against the Poles. 

This division moved rapidly west and encountered 
the forces of Boleslas as the Poles were pursuing some 
scouting contingents of Mongols. The Poles attacked 
with their usual bravery and were defeated Boleslas 
fleeing into Moravia and the remnants of his men 
withdrawing to the north, whither the Mongols did 
not pursue them. This was March 18. Cracov was 


burned, and the Mongols of Kaidu and Baibars 
hastened on to meet the Duke of Silesia before he 
could join forces with the Bohemians. 

They encountered this army of Henry the Pious 
near Liegnitz, April 9. Of the battle that followed 
we have no first-hand account. We only know that 
the German and Polish forces broke before the onset 
of the Mongol-standard, and were almost exterminated; 
Henry and his barons died to a man, as did the 
Hospitallers. It is said that the grand master of the 
Teutonic Knights perished on the field, with nine 
Templars and five hundred men-at-arms, 

Liegnitz was burned by its defenders, and the day 
after the battle Kaidu and Baibars and their division 
confronted the larger army of Wcnceslas, king of 
Bohemia, fifty miles away. Wenceslas moved slowly 
from place to place, as the Mongols appeared and 
disappeared. His cumbersome array, too strong to be 
attacked by the Mongol division, could not come up 
with the horsemen from Cathay, who rested their 
mounts and ravaged Silesia and beautiful Moravia 
under his eyes, and finally tricked Wenceslas into 
marching north while they turned south to rejoin 

" And know," Ponce d'Aubon wrote to St. Louis 
of France, " that all the barons of Germany and the 
king, and all the clergy and those in Hungary have 
taken the Cross to go against the Tatars. And, if 

* " Tartarin ont la tenre qui fu Henri le due de Fouiainne destnsite et 
escillie, ct celui meismes ocis avec mout dcs barons, et six da new frtres et 
trois chevaliers et deux sergans et 500 de nos hommes ont mort." letter 
of the Grand Master of the French Templars to Saint Louis, quoted by Loa 

Legend has it that the Mongols cut an ear from every dead enemy 
tad filled in this manner nine sacks that they carried back to Batu, their 
prince. The head of the unfortunate Henry was carried on a laace to LMfaiH 


what our brothers have told us is true, if it happens 
by the will of God that they be vanquished, these 
Tatars will not find anyone to stand against them as 
far as your land." 

But when the Master of the Templars wrote this, 
the Hungarian host was already vanquished. Subotai 
and Batu threaded through the Carpathians in three 
divisions, the right flank entering Hungary from 
Galicia, the left, under command of Subotai, swinging 
down through Moldavia. The smaller armies in their 
path were wiped out, and the three columns joined 
forces before Bcla and his Hungarians near Pesth. 

It was then the beginning of April, just before the 
battle of Liegnitz. Subotai and Batu had not heard 
how matters were going in the north ; they dispatched 
a division to open communication with the grandsons 
of Genghis Khan on the Oder. 

The small army of the bishop of Ugolin advanced 
against them ; they retreated to a marshy region and 
surrounded the rash Hungarians. The bishop fled 
with three companions, sole survivors. 

Meanwhile Bela began to cross the Danube with 
his host Magyars, Croats and Germans, with the 
French Templars who had been posted in Hungary. 
A hundred thousand in all. The Mongols retreated 
slowly before them, at a hand pace. Batu, Subotai, 
Mangu conqueror of Kiev had left the army and 
were inspecting the site chosen for the battle. This 
was the plain of Mohi, hemmed in on four sides, by 
the river Sayo, by the vine-clad hills of Tokay, by 
" dark woods and the great hills of Lomnitz." 

The* Mongols retreated across the river, leaving 
intact a wide stone bridge, and pushing into the 


brush on the far side for some five miles. Blindly the 
host of Bda followed, and camped in the plain of Mo At. 
Camped with its heavy baggage, its sergcants-at-arms, 
its mailed chivalry and followers. A thousand men 
were posted on the far side of the bridge, and explored 
the woods without seeing a sign of the enemy. 

Night. Subotai took command of the Mongol right, 
led it in a wide circle back to the river where he had 
observed a ford. He set to work building a bridge to 
aid in the crossing. 

The break of dawn. Batu's advance moved back 
toward the bridge, surprised and annihilated the 
detachment guarding it. His main forces were thrown 
across, seven catapults playing on Bela's knights who 
tried to stem the rush of horsemen across the bridge. 
The Mongols surged steadily into the disordered 
array of their foes, the terrible standard with its nine 
yak-tails surrounded by the smoke of fires carried in 
pans by shamans. " A great grey face with a long 
beard," one of the Europeans described it, " giving 
out noisome smoke." 

No doubting the bravery of Bela's paladins. The 
battle was stubborn and unbroken until near midday. 
Then Subotai finished his flank movement, and 
appeared behind Bela's array. The Mongols charged 
in, broke the Hungarians. Like the Teutonic Knights 
at Liegnitz, the Templars died to a man on the field.* 

Then the Mongol ranks parted in the west, leaving 
open the road through the gorge by which the host 
of Bcla had advanced to the plain. The Hungarians 
fled, and were pursued at leisure. For two days' journey 

" Magistet vero Templarius cum iota acvc Latinorum occubuii." Thomaa 
de Spalato, cited by L6on Cahon. 


the bodies of Europeans strewed the roads. Forty 
thousand had fallen. Bela separated from his remaining 
followers, leaving his brother dying, the Archbishop 
slain. By sheer speed of his horse he freed himself 
from the pursuit, hid along the bank of the Danube, 
was hunted out and fled into the Carpathians. There, 
in time, he reached the same monastery that shel- 
tered his brother-monarch of Poland, Boleslas the 

The Mongols stormed Pesth, and fired the suburbs 
of Gran. They advanced into Austria as far as 
Nicustadt, avoided the sluggish host of Germans and 
Bohemians, and turned down to the Adriatic, ravaging 
the towns along the coast except Ragusa. In less than 
two months they had overrun Europe from the head- 
waters of the Elbe to the sea, had defeated three great 
armies and a dozen smaller ones and had taken by 
assault all the towns except Olmutz which made good 
its defence under Yaroslav of Sternberg with twelve 
thousand men. 

No second Tours saved western Europe from 
inevitable disaster.* Its armies, capable only of moving 
in a mass, led by reigning monarchs as incompetent 
as Bela or Saint Louis of France, were valiant enough 
but utterly unable to prevail against the rapidly 
manoeuvring Mongols led by generals such as Subotai 
and Mangu and Kaidu veterans of a lifetime of war 
on two continents. But the war never came to a final 
issue. A courier from Karakorum brought the Mongols 

A summary of this campaign which has been much discussed and 
Uttlc understood can be found in Henri Cordier's Melanges d'Histoir* et 
i* G4ogr*pki* OrifnUtUs, Tome II ; also in Sir Henry Howorth's History 
oj tkt MoNf*fc, Vol. I. Fuller details are given in I>on Cahun's 

4 VHi9* t* L'Asu, pp. 3*9-374 ** "* #" i/tf der AtmgiU* in Afitlel 
Ewop* by Suakosch-GrassuuA. 


the tidings of Ogotai's death and a summons to return 
to the Gobi. 

At the council there a year later, the battle of Mohi 
had a curious aftermath. Batu accused Subotai of 
being tardy in arriving on the field and causing the 
loss of many Mongols. The old general made answer 
tartly : 

" Remember that the river was not deep before 
thee, and a bridge was already there. Where I crossed, 
the river was deep and I had to build a bridge. 11 

Batu admitted the truth of this, and did not blame 
Subotai again. 



T^NOUGH, perhaps, has been said here to show 
JC-/ that the Mongol armies possessed several advant- 
ages over the Europeans of that day. They were 
more mobile Subotai rode with his division two 
hundred and ninety miles in less than three days 
during the invasion of Hungary. The same Ponce 
d'Aubon makes the comment that the Mongols could 
march in a single day as far " as from Chartres to 
Paris/ 1 

" No people in the world," asserts a contemporary 
chronicler of Europe,* speaking of the Mongols, " is as 
able especially in conflicts in open country in 
defeating an enemy either by personal bravery, or by 
knowledge of warfare." 

This opinion is confirmed by Fra Carpini, who was 
sent to the Mongol Khan not long after the terrible 
invasion of 1 238-1 242, to exhort the pagan conquerors 
to cease the slaughter of Christian peoples. " No single 
kingdom or province can resist the Tartars." And he 
adds : " The Tartars fight more by stratagem than 
by sheer force." 

This daring priest who seems to have had an eye 
for things military remarks that the " Tartars " were 
less numerous and lacked the physical stature and 
strength of the Europeans. And he goes on to urge 
European monarch? who always took command of 

Thoxnaa de Spalato. cited by L6o& Gabon. 

a 3 6 


their hosts in a war, no matter how lacking they 
might be in the qualifications of such leadership to 
model their military system on the Mongol. 

" Our armies ought to be marshalled after the order 
of the Tartars, and under the same rigorous laws of 
wan The field of battle ought to be chosen, if possible, 
in a plain where everything is visible on all sides. The 
army should by no means be drawn up in one body, 
but in many divisions. Scouts ought to be sent out on 
every side. Our generals ought to keep their troops 
day and night on the alert, and always armed, ready 
for battle ; as the Tartars are always vigilant as devils. 

" If the princes and rulers of Christendom mean to 
resist their progress, it is requisite that they should 
make common cause and oppose them with united 
council. " 

Carpini did not fail to notice the weapons of the 
Mongols and advised the European soldiery to improve 
their arms. " The princes of Christendom ought to 
have many soldiers armed with strong-bows, cross- 
bows and artillery which the Tartars dread. Besides 
these, there ought to be men armed with good iron 
maces, or with axes having long handles. The steel 
arrow-heads should be tempered in the Tartar manner 
by being plunged, while hot, into water mixed with 
salt, that they may be better able to penetrate armour. 
Our men ought to have good helmets and armour of 
proof for themselves and horses. And those who arc 
not so armed, ought to keep in the rear of those who 


Carpini had received a vivid impression of the 
devastating archery of the Mongol children of war. 
" Men and horses they wound and slay with arrows, 


and when men and mounts are shattered in this 
fashion, they then close in upon them." 

At this time the Emperor Frederick II the same 
who waged the famous feud with the Pope called 
for aid from the other princes, and wrote to the king 
of England : " The Tartars are men of small stature 
but sturdy limbs high-strung, valiant and daring, 
always ready to throw themselves into peril at a sign 
from their commander. . . . But and this we can- 
not say without sighing formerly they were covered 
with leather and armour of iron plates, while now 
they are equipped with finer and more useful armour, 
the spoils taken from Christians, so that we may be 
shamefully and dolorously slain with our own weapons. 
Moreover, they are mounted on better horses, they 
sustain themselves on choicer foods and wear garments 
less rude than our own." 

About the time that he wrote this the Emperor 
Frederick was summoned by the victorious Mongol 
army of invasion to become a subject of the Great 
Khan. The terms offered were fair from the Mongol 
point of view for the Emperor to yield himself and 
his people captive, so that their lives might be spared,* 
and go himself to Karakorum and there occupy 
himself with whatever official post might be selected 
for him. To this Frederick answered good-naturedly 
that he knew enough about birds of prey to qualify 
as the Khan's falconer. 

" // Jallait reconnattre lewt empire ou mourif " Abel Remusat. Sub- 
mission involved paying a heavy tax, which was sometimes collected two or 
three times over. The Mongols were both tolerant and rapacious. 

One cannot read the annals of Genghis Khau without realizing that he 
never moved to war without good occasion to do so. One suspects that he 
often created the occasion himself, but it was, nevertheless, created. He 
imtilled into his victorious Mongols three ideas that persisted for generations 
that they most not destroy peoples who submitted voluntarily, that they 
must never cease from war with those who resisted, and that they must 
tolerate all religions in equal measure. 


AFTER Batu and Subotai withdrew from Europe 
in 1242, a widespread dread of another Mongol 
invasion impelled the sovereigns of Christendom to 
action in various ways. Innocent IV called the 
Council of Lyons to discuss, among other matters, 
some safeguard for Christianity. Heedless St. Louis 
declared that if the " Tartars " appeared again, the 
chivalry of France would die in the defence of the 
Church. Whereupon, he started off on the disastrous 
crusades into Egypt, sending at various times priests 
and messages to the Mongols south of the Caspian, 
commanded at that time by Baichu Khan. 

One of his embassies was forwarded to the Khan at 
Karakorum with an amusing result. Joinville, a 
medieval chronicler, tells us that when the envoys 
were presented with their slight gifts, the Khan turned 
to the nobles gathered around him and said, " Lords, 
here is the submission of the King of the Franks, and 
here is the tribute he has sent us." 

The Mongols frequently urged Louis to make 
submission to their Khan, to give tribute and be 
protected as other rulers were, by the power of the 
Khan. They advised also, that he make war on the 
Seljuks in Asia Minor, with whom they were then 


engaged. Louis some years later sent the lusty and 
intelligent Rubruquis to the court of the Khan, but 
was careful to instruct the monk not to present him- 
self as an envoy, or to let his journey be construed 
as an act of subjection. 

Among the letters that reached Louis from the 
horde was one mentioning the fact that many Christians 
were to be found among the Mongols. " We have 
come with authority and power to announce that all 
Christians are to be freed from servitude and taxes 
in Mohammedan lands, and are to be treated with 
honour and reverence. No one is to molest their 
goods and those of their churches which have been 
destroyed arc to be rebuilt and are to be allowed to 
sound their plates." * 

It is true that there were several Christian wives of 
the Mongol Il-khans of Persia, and that Christian 
Armenians served them as ministers. Remnants of 
the crusaders abandoned in Palestine fought at times 
in the Mongol ranks. And the Il-khan Arghun did 
rebuild churches that had been destroyed in the 
previous wars. 

And an angered Mohammedan wrote that in the 
year 1259 the Mongol Il-khan Hulagu commanded 
that, in the whole of Syria, " every religious sect should 
proclaim its faith openly, and that no Moslem should 
disapprove. On that day there was no single Christian 
of the common people or of the highest who did not 
put on his finest apparel." *f 

Whatever may have been their leaning toward the 
Christians in Palestine, the Mongol leaders did 

* Howorth, History o) tk* Mongols, Part III. 

*M Answer to the Dkimmis kichard Gottheil, " Journal of the American 
Oriental Society/' Dec., 1921. 


sincerely desire the aid of European armies against the 
Mohammedans, and in 1274 sent an embassy of 
sixteen men to the Pope, and then to Edward I of 
England who answered with a good deal of casuistry 
since he had no intention of faring toward Jerusalem: 
" We note the resolution you have taken to relieve 
the Holy Land from the enemies of Christianity. 
This is most grateful to us, and we thank you. But 
we cannot at present send you any certain news about 
the time of our arrival in the Holy Land." 

Meanwhile, the Pope sent other envoys to Baichu, 
near the Caspian. These offended the Mongols very 
much, because they did not know the name of the 
Khan and because they lectured the pagans on the 
sin of shedding blood. The Mongols said that the 
Pope must be very ignorant if he did not know the 
name of the man who ruled all the world, and as for 
slaughtering their enemies, they did that at the 
command of the son of Heaven himself. Baichu was 
minded to execute the unfortunate priests, but spared 
them and sent them back safely because they were, 
after all, envoys. 

The reply of Baichu, given in a letter to these 
emissaries of Innocent IV, is worth quoting : 

" By order of the supreme Khan, Baichu Noyon 
sends these words Pope, dost thou know that thine 
envoys have come to us with thy letters ? Thine 
envoys have uttered big words. We know not whether 
they did so by thine order. So, we send thee this 
message. If thou desirest to reign over the land and 
water, thy patrimony, thou must come thyself, 
Pope, to us, and present thyself before him who 
reigns over the surface of all the earth. And if thou 


comcst not, we know not what will happen. God 
knows. Only, it would be well to send messengers 
to say whether thou wilt come or no, and whether 
thou wilt come in friendship or no."* 

Needless to say, Innocent IV did not make the 
journey to Karakorum. Nor did the Mongols return 
again to middle Europe. But there is no indication 
that the armed chivalry of western Europe restrained 
them. At Nicustadt in Austria they had advanced 
nearly six thousand miles from their homeland. 
Subotai and the fierce Tuli died. Batu, the son of 
Juchi, was well content with Sari, his golden city on 
the Volga. Civil war smouldered along the wastes of 
Asia, and the westward march of the hordes came to 
an end. They ravaged Hungary again near the close 
of the thirteenth century, then retired to the plains 
of the Volga. 

From the SpfcuJtim Historialc of Vincent oV Beauvais, Tn this letter 
appears again the ominous phrase, " \\V know rn<t what will happen. God 
knows " the usual phrase of warning when the Mongols meant war. To 
the Seljuk prince, Kai Kosni, they leturnrd n l.innr.r aiiswei. " Thou hast 
s token bravely. God will give victory as He pleases." It seems that 
they alwavs sent envoys to an enemy, after the custom of Genghis Khan, 
offering terms. If these were refused, they uttered their warning and made 
ready for war. 




story printed in a London newspaper that 
JL Professor Peter Kozloff had found and identified 
the burial place of the Mongol conqueror excited 
great interest recently. This report was later denied 
by Professor Lozloff, according to a cable from 
Leningrad printed in the New Tork Times> November 
nth, 1927. 

Professor Kozloff in relating the results of his last 
trip to the site of Kara Khoto in the southern Gobi 
during 1925-26, and the evidences of early Scythian- 
Siberian culture found there, pointed out that the site 
of the sepulchre of Genghis Khan is still unknown. 

There exist many conflicting traditions as to this 
vanished sepulchre. Marco Polo mentions it vaguely, 
assuming it to be among the tombs of the later Mongol 

Rashid el-Din says that Genghis Khan was buried 
at a hill called Yakka Kuruk near Urga, a place 
frequently mentioned by Ssanang Setzen. Quat- 
remcre and others go to some lengths to identify 
this hill with the Khanula near Urga. But all this 
is doubtful. 

The Archimandrite Palladius says : " There arc 
no accurate indications in the documents of the 
Mongol period on die burial place of Chingiz Khan." 



A more modern tradition, cited by E. T. C. Werner, 
places the tomb of the conqueror in the Ordos 
country, at Etjen Koro. Here, on the twenty-first 
day of the third month a ceremony is attended on this 
site by Mongol princes. Relics of the great Khan, 
a saddle, a bow and other things, are brought to the 
burial site, which is not a tomb but an encampment, 
walled in by piled stone. Here stand two white felt 
tents containing, it is believed, a casket of stone. 
What is in the casket is unknown. 

Mr. Werner believes that the Mongols arc correct 
in saying that the remains of the conqueror may lie 
in this encampment, still guarded by five hundred 
families who still have special rights. It is situated 
beyond the great wall, south of the loop of the 
Hoang, about 40 N. Lat. and 109 E. Long. 

In evidence of this, he quotes the statement of the 
Mongol prince of Kalachin, a descendant of Genghis 
Khan. And this, perhaps, is better evidence than 
the vague and conflicting accounts of the chronicles. 

For farther details, consult the Yule-Cordier 1903 edition of Marco Polo, 
Vol. I. pp. 247-251 ; also Tke Tomb of Marco Polo, by E. T. C. Werner; 
and W. W. Rock hill's Diary. 



FEW men have had a more difficult part to play 
in life than this young Cathayan who caught 
the eye of Genghis Khan. He was one of the first 
Chinese philosophers to ride with the horde, and the 
Mongols did not make matters easy for the student of 
philosophy and astronomy and medicine. An officer 
who was noted for his skill as a maker of bows chaffed 
the tall and long-bearded Cathayan : 

" What business has a man of books," he asked, 
" among a fellowship of warriors ? " 

" To make fine bows," Ye Liu Chutsai replied, 
" a wood worker is needed ; but when it comes to 
governing an empire, a man of wisdom is needed." 

He became a favourite of the old conqueror and 
during the long march into the west, while the other 
Mongols were gathering rich spoil, the Cathayan 
collected books and astronomical tables and herbs 
for his own use. He noted down the geography of 
the march, and when an epidemic seized the horde, 
he enjoyed a philosopher's revenge on the officers 
who had made sport of him. He dosed them with 
rhubarb and cured them. 

Genghis Khan valued him for his integrity, and 
Ye Liu Chutsai lost no opportunity to check the 
slaughter that marked the path of the horde. There 


is a legend that in the defiles of the lower Himalayas 
Genghis Khan saw in his path a marvellous-appearing 
animal, shaped like a deer, but green in colour and 
with only a single horn. He called Ye Liu Chutsai 
for an explanation of the phenomenon, and the 
Cathayan made answer gravely : 

" This strange animal is called Kio-tuan. He knows 
every language of the earth, and he loves living men, 
and has a horror of slaying. His appearance is un- 
doubtedly a warning to thee, O my Khan, to turn 
back from this path." 

Under Ogotai, the son of Genghis Khan, the 
Cathayan practically administered the empire, and 
managed to take the infliction of punishment from the 
hands of Mongol officers, appointing magistrates to 
this duty, and tax-gatherers to the care of the treasures. 
His quick wit and quiet courage pleased the pagan 
conquerors, and he knew how to influence them. 
Ogotai was a heavy drinker, and Ye Liu Chutsai had 
reason to wish him to live as long as possible. Remon- 
strances having no effect upon the Khan, the Cathayan 
brought him an iron vase in which wine had been 
standing for some time. The wine had corroded the 
edge of the vessel. 

" If wine," he said, " has eaten thus into iron, 
judge for yourself what it has done to your intestines." 

Ogotai was struck by the demonstration and 
moderated his drinking though it was the real cause 
of his death. Once, angered at an act of his councillor, 
he had Ye Liu Chutsai thrown into prison, but 
changed his mind later and ordered him to be freed. 
The Cathayan would not leave his cell Ogotai sent 
to find out why he did not appear at court. 


"Thou didst name me thy minister," the sage 
sent back his response. " Thou hast placed me in 
prison. So, I was guilty. Thou hast set me at liberty. 
Thus, I am innocent. It is easy for thee to make game 
of me. But how am I to direct the affairs of the 
empire ? " 

He was restored to office, to the great good of 
millions of human beings. When Ogotai died the 
administration was taken out of the hands of the old 
Cathayan and given to a Mohammedan named Abd 
el Rahman. Grief over the oppressive measures of the 
new minister hastened the death of Chutsai. 

Believing that he must have accumulated great 
riches during his life under the Khans, some Mongol 
officers searched his residence. They found no other 
treasure than a regular museum of musical instru- 
ments, manuscripts, maps, tablets and stones on which 
inscriptions had been carved. 



THE son who succeeded to the throne of the 
conqueror found himself an almost unwilling 
master of half the world. Ogotai had all a Mongol's 
good humour and tolerance, without the cruelty of 
his brothers. He could sit in his tent-palace at Kara- 
korum and do nothing except listen to the throngs 
who came to bow down at the throne of the Khan. 
His brothers and officers carried on the wars, and 
Ye Liu Chutsai saw to the gathering of the revenues. 

Ogotai, broad of body and placid of mind, presents 
a curious picture a benevolent barbarian with the 
spoils of Cathay, the women of a dozen empires and 
the horse herds of unlimited pastures all at his 
summons. His actions arc refreshingly unkinglike. 
When his officers protested at his habit of giving away 
whatever he happened to sec, he replied that he would 
soon be gone out of the world and his only abiding 
place would be the memory of men. 

He did not approve of the treasures amassed by the 
Persian and Indian monarchs. " They were fools," 
he said, " and it did them little good. They took 
nothing out of the world with them." 

Shrewd Mohammedan merchants, hearing the 
rumour of his heedless generosity, did not fail to 


throng to his court with varied goods and a huge bill 
of account. Such bills were presented to the Khaa 
every evening when he sat in public. Once the nobles 
in attendance protested to him that the merchants 
were overcharging him ridiculously. Ogotai assented. 

" They came expecting to profit from me, and 
I do not wish them to go away disappointed.' 1 

His goings-abroad were something in the nature 
of a desert Haroun al Rashid's. He liked to talk with 
chance-met wanderers and on one occasion was struck 
by the poverty of an old man, who gave him three 
melons. Having no silver or rich cloth about him at 
the time, the Khan ordered one of his wives to reward 
the beggar with the pearls from her ear-rings which 
were of great size and value. 

" It would be better, O my lord," she protested, 
" to summon him to court to-morrow and give him 
silver which he can put to more use than these pearls." 

" The very poor," retorted the practical Mongol, 
" can not wait until the morrow. Besides, the pearls 
will come back to my treasury before long." 

Ogotai had all a Mongol's fondness for hunting, 
and watching wrestling matches and horse races. 
Minstrels and athletes journeyed to his court from far 
Cathay and the cities of Persia. In his day began the 
feuds that eventually divided the Mongol dynasties 
the strife between Mohammedan and Buddhist, 
between Persian and Chinese. This bickering annoyed 
the son of Genghis Khan. And his simplicity of mind 
sometimes discomfited the intriguers. A certain 
Buddhist came to the Mongol with a story that Genghis 
Khan had appeared before him in a dream, and had 
voiced a command. 


" Go thou and bid my son exterminate all believers 
in Mohammed, for they are an evil race." ' 

The severity of the dead conqueror toward the 
peoples of Islam was well known, and a yarligh a 
command of the great Khan delivered in a vision was 
an important matter. Ogotai meditated for a while. 

" Did Genghis Khan address thee by the words of 
an interpreter ? " he asked at length. 

" Nay, O my Khan, he himself spoke." 

" And thou knowest the Mongol speech ? " per- 
sisted Ogotai. 

It was an evident fact that the man honoured by 
the vision spoke nothing but Turki. 

" Then thou hast lied to me," retorted the Khan, 
" for Genghis Khan spoke only Mongol." And he 
ordered the antagonist of the Mohammedans to be 
put to death. 

Another time, some Chinese showmen were enter- 
taining Ogotai with a puppet play. Among the 
marionettes, the Khan noticed a figure of an old man, 
turbaned, with long white moustaches, which was 
dragged about at the tail of a horse. He demanded 
that the Chinese explain the meaning of this. 

" It is thus," responded the masters of the show, 
" that Mongol warriors draw after them Moslem 

Ogotai ordered the show to be stopped and his 
attendants to bring from his treasury the richest 
cloths, rugs and precious work both of China and 
Persia. He showed the Chinese that their goods were 
inferior to the western articles, and he added, " In 
my dominion there is no single rich Mohammedan 
who does not own several Chinese slaves and no 


wealthy Chinese* has any Mohammedan slaves. You 
are aware, besides, that Genghis Khan gave command 
that a reward of forty pieces of gold should be given 
to the slayer of a Mohammedan, while he did not think 
the life of a Chinese worth a donkey. How, then, 
dare you mock the Mohammedans ? " And he sent 
the showmen from the court with their marionettes. 

" On the heels of the military conqueror came the administrative man* 
darin " L on Cahun. " L' esprit bureaucratique des Chmois qtn dirigaient 
1' administration Mongole." Ulochet. 

The early Montis never accustomed themselves to the use of money, 
and they had only contempt for the mail who spent his life in hoarding 
it. Ijongfcllow has put into verse thf episode of the unfortunate kalif 
of Baghdad, who was overcome and captured in spite of a vast accumulation 
of treasury by Hulagu ---Cental's celebrated nephew. 
" I said to the Kalif, ' Thou art old ; 
Thou hast nn need of so much gold. 
Thou shouM-it not have heaped and hidden it here 
Till the breath of brittle was hot and near " 

(For additional details on the lives of Ye Liu Chutsai and Opotai, sea 
the Nouveaux Milling A*iatii\tti of Abrl-Rernusat, Tartarie by Louis 
Dubcux, The Bo^k <// th<* Yu in. tr.msl itc I from the Chinese nnai^ by Father 
Amiot, and Le SitUz dcs Youen by M. 



Being the Arrival of Fra Rubruquis at the Lashgar, 
or Travelling Court of Manga Khan, the Grand- 
son oj Genghis Khan.* 

ONLY two Europeans have left us a description 
of the Mongols before the residence of the 
Khans was changed to Cathay. One is the monk 
Carpini, and the other the burly Fra Rubruquis, who 
rode with a stout heart into Tatary, half convinced 
that he would be tortured to death. On behalf of his 
royal master, Saint Louis of France, he went not as an 
envoy of his king, but as an emissary of peace, in the 
hope that the pagan conquerors might be moved 
somewhat to refrain from warfare against Europe. 

For fellowship he had only a badly frightened 
brother monk Constantinople left behind them and 
the steppes of Asia closing around them. He had been 
chilled to the marrow and half starved, and jolted for 
three thousand miles. The Mongols had equipped him 
with sheepskins and felt foot-socks and boots and 
hoods of skin, and had been careful to select a powerful 
horse for him each day during the long journey from 
the Volga frontier, because he was corpulent and 

He was a mystery to the Mongols a long-robed 

As given ia Astlej's Voyages, bat modified and < 


and barefoot man out of the far land of the Franks, 
who was neither merchant nor ambassador, who 
carried no arms, gave no presents and would accept 
no reward. A curious picture, this, of the weighty 
and dogmatic friar who had wandered out of stricken 
Europe to behold the Khan a poverty-ridden, but 
not a humble member of the long train that journeyed 
east into the desert Yaroslav, duke of Russia, 
Cathayan and Turkish lords, the sons of the king of 
Georgia, the envoy of the kalif of Baghdad, and the 
great sultans of the Saracens. And, with an observant 
eye, Rubruquis has described for us the court of the 
nomad conquerors, where the " barons " drank milk 
in jewel encrusted goblets and rode in sheepskins 
upon saddles ornamented with gold work. 

In this fashion he describes his arrival at the court 
of Mangu Khan : 

On Saint Stephen's day in December we came to 
a great plain where not a hillock was to be seen, and 
the next day we arrived at the court of the great 

Our guide had a large house appointed for him, 
and only a small cottage was given to us three 
hardly room enough for our baggage, beds and a 
small fire. Many came to our guide with drink made 
of rice in long-necked bottles, no different from the 
best wine except that it smelt otherwise. We were 
called out and questioned about our business. A secret- 
ary told me that we wanted the assistance of a Tartar 
army against the Saracens ; and this astonished me 
as I knew the letters from your majesty required 

Saint Loots, King of Franca, who was than a captive of tkt Uamlaks. 


no army and only advised the Khan to be a friend to 
all Christians. 

The Mongols then demanded if we would make 
peace with them. To this I answered, " Having done 
no wrong, the King of the French hath given no 
cause for war. If warred against without cause, we 
trust in the help of God." 

At this they seemed all amazed, exclaiming, " Did 
you not come to make peace ? " 

The day following I went to the court barefoot, at 
which the people stared ; but a Hungarian boy who 
was among them and knew our order,* told them the 
reason. Whereupon a Nestorian who was the chief 
secretary of the court asked many questions of us 
and we went back to our lodgings. 

On the way, at the end of the court toward the east, 
I saw a small house with a little cross above it. At this 
I rejoiced, believing there might be some Christians 
within. I entered boldly, and found an altar well 
furnished, having a golden cloth adorned with images 
of Christ, the Virgin, Saint John the Baptist and two 
angels the lines of their bodies and garments shaped 
with small pearls. 

On the altar was a large silver cross, bright with 
precious stones and many embroiderings, Before it 
burned a lamp with eight lights. Sitting beside the 
altar I saw an Armenian monk somewhat black and 
lean, clad in a rough hairy coat and girded with iron 
under his haircloth. 

Before saluting the monk, we fell flat on the ground, 
singing Avt regina and other hymns, and the monk 

* Rttbruquis was a Franciscan, and the first priest to appear in his robes 
in lar Asia Carpim. the envoy oi the Pope, having put on secular diess. 


joined in our prayers. We then sat down by the monk 
who had a small fire in a pan before him. He told us 
that he a hermit of Jerusalem had come a month 
before us. 

When we had talked for a while we went on to our 
lodgings, making a little broth of flesh and millet for 
our supper. Our Mongol guide and his companions 
were very drunk at court and little care was taken of 
us. So great was the cold that next morning the ends 
of my toes were frost-bitten and I could no longer 
go barefoot. 

From the time when the frost begins, it never 
ceases until May, and even then it freezes every night 
and morning. And, while we were there, the cold, 
rising with the wind, killed multitudes of animals. 
The people of the court* brought us ram-skin coats 
and breeches and shoes, which my companion and the 
interpreter accepted. On the fifth of January we 
were taken into the court. 

It was asked of us what reverence we would pay 
the Khan, and I said that we came from a far country 
and with their leave would first sing praises to God 
who had brought us hither in safety, and would after- 
wards do whatever might please the Khan. Then 
they went into the presence and related what we had 
told them. Returning, they brought us before the 
entrance of the hall, lifting up the felt which hung 
before the threshold, and we sang A so/is ortus car dine. 

They searched the breasts of our robes to see if 

* When Rubruquis speaks of the court, he means the quarters of Manga 
Khan, his women and higher officers, in the centre of the encampment. 
Of the encampment of Ddtu Mangu's cousin on the Volga, he says, "Wo 
were astonished at the magnificence of his encampment. The houses and 
tents stretched out to a vast length, and there were great numbers of people 
ranged round for three or four leagues." 


we had any weapons concealed, and they made our 
interpreter leave his girdle and knife with one of the 
guards at the door. When we entered, our interpreter 
was made to stand at a table which was well furnished 
with mare's milk, and we were placed on a bench 
before the women. 

The whole house was hung with cloth-of-gold, and 
on the hearth in the middle there was a fire of thorns, 
worm-wood roots and cow-dung. The Khan sat upon 
a couch covered with bright and shining fur like seal's 
skin. He was a flat-nosed man of middle stature, about 
forty-five years of age, and one of his wives a pretty 
little woman sat beside him. Likewise one of his 
daughters, a hard-favoured young woman, sat on a 
couch near him. This house had belonged to the 
mother of this daughter, who was a Christian, and the 
daughter was now mistress of it. 

We were asked whether we would drink rice-wine, 
or mare's milk or mead made of honey for they use 
these three kinds of liquors in winter. I answered 
that we had no pleasure in drink and would be content 
with what the Khan pleased to order. So we were 
served with rice-wine, of which I tasted a little out of 

After a long interval during which the Khan 
amused himself with falcons and other birds, we were 
commanded to speak and had to bow the knee. The 
Khan had his interpreter, a Nestorian, but our inter- 
preter had been given so much liquor from the table 
that he was quite drunk. I addressed the Khan as 
follows : 

" We give thanks and praise to God who hath 
brought us from such remote parts of the world to 


the presence of Mangu Khan on whom he hath bestowed 
such great power. The Christians of the west, especially 
the King of the French, sent us unto him with letters, 
entreating him to allow us to stay in his country, as it 
is our office to teach men the law of God. We there- 
fore beg his highness to permit us to remain. We have 
neither silver nor gold nor precious stones to offer, 
but we present ourselves to do service." 

The Khan answered to this effect : 

" Even as the sun sheds his beams everywhere, so 
our power and that of Batu extends everywhere, so 
we have no need of your gold or silver." 

I entreated his highness not to be displeased with me 
for mentioning gold and silver, as I spoke only to 
make clear our desire to do him service. Hitherto 
I had understood our interpreter, but he was now drunk 
and could not utter an intelligible sentence and it 
appeared to me that the Khan might be drunk like- 
wise ; wherefore I held my peace. 

Then he made us rise and sit down again, and after 
a few words of compliment we withdrew from the 
presence. One of the secretaries and interpreters went 
out with us and was very inquisitive about the king- 
dom of France, particularly whether it had plenty of 
sheep, cattle, and horses, as if they meant to make it 
all their own. They appointed one to take care of us 
and we went to the Armenian monk, whither came 
the interpreter, saying that Mangu Khan gave 
us two months to stay, until the extreme cold be 

To this I answered, " God preserve Mangu Khan 
and grant him a long life. We have found this monk 
whom we think a holy man and we will willingly 


remain and pray with him for the well-being of the 

(For on feast days the Christians come to court and 
pray for him and bless his cup, after which the Saracen 
priests do the same and after them the idolatrous 
priests.* The monk Sergius pretended that he only 
believed the Christians, but in this Sergius lied. The 
Khan believes none, but all follow his court as flies 
do honey. He gives to all, and all think they are his 
familiars, and all prophesy prosperity to him.) 

We then went to our dwelling which we found very 
cold as we had no fuel and were still fasting though 
by then it was night. But he who had the care of us 
provided us with some wood and a little food, and our 
guide of the journey hither, who was now to return to 
Batu, begged a carpet from us. This we gave him 
and he departed in peace. 

The cold became severe, and Mangu Khan sent us 
three fur coats with the hair outward, which we took 
gratefully. But we explained that we had not fit 
quarters to pray for the Khan our cottage being so 
small we could scarcely stand up in it, neither could 
we open our books after lighting the fire, on account 
of the smoke. The Khan sent to ask the monk if he 
would be pleased with our company, who gladly 
received us and after this we had a better house. 

While we were absent, Mangu Khan himself came 
into the chapel and a golden bed was fetched, upon 
which he sat with his queen opposite the altar. We 
were then sent for and a pavilion guard searched us 
for hidden weapons. On going in with a Bible and a 
breviary in my bosom, I first bowed down before the 

* Buddhisti, with whom Robruquis had no previous acquaintance. 


altar and then made obeisance to Mangu Khan, who 
caused our books to be brought to him and asked the 
meaning of the miniatures with which they were 
adorned. The Nestorians answered him as they 
thought proper, because we had not our interpreter. 
Being desired to sing a psalm after our manner, we 
chanted Pent, Sanctu Spiritus. Then the Khan left, 
but the lady remained and distributed gifts. 

I honoured the monk Sergius as my bishop. In 
many things he acted in a way that much displeased 
me, for he had made for himself a cap of peacock 
feathers, with a small gold cross. But I was well 
pleased with the cross. The monk by my suggestion 
craved leave to carry the cross aloft on a lance, and 
Mangu gave permission to carry it in any way we 
saw fit. 

So we went about with Sergius, for the honour of 
the cross, as he had fashioned a banner on a cane as 
long as a lance, and we carried it throughout the tents 
of the Tatars, singing Vexilla regis prodcunt^ to the 
great regret of the Mohammedans, who were envious 
of our favour, and of the Nestorian priests, who were 
envious of the profit he had from its use. 

Near Karakorum, Mangu has a large court, sur- 
rounded by a brick wall, like our priories. Within that 
court is a great palace where the Khan holds feasts 
twice in the year, in Easter and in summer, when he 
displays all his magnificence. Because it was indecent 
to have flagons going about the hall of the palace as 
in a tavern, William Bouchier, the goldsmith from 
Paris, built a great silver tree just without the middle 
entrance of the hall. At the roots of the tree were 
four silver lions from which flowed pure cow's milk. 


On the four great boughs of the tree were twined 
golden serpents that discharge streams of wine of 
various sorts. 

The palace is like a church with three aisles and 
two rows of pillars. The Khan sits on a high place 
at the north wall, where he may be seen of all. The 
space between the Khan and the silver tree is left 
vacant for the coming and the going of the cup- 
bearers and the messengers who bring gifts. On the 
right side of the Khan the men sit and on the left 
the women. Only one woman sits beside him, not so 
high as he. 

Except for the palace of the Khan, Karakorum is 
not so fine as the town of Saint Denis. It has two 
main streets, that of the Saracens where the fairs are 
held, and the street of the Cathayans which is filled 
with craftsmen. Besides, there are many palaces in 
which are the courts of the secretaries of the Khan 
also markets for millet and grain, sheep and horses 
and oxen and wagons. There are twelve idol temples, 
two Mohammedan mosques and one Nestorian 

About Passion Sunday the Khan departed for 
Karakorum, with his smaller houses* only, and the 
monk and we followed. On the journey we had to 
pass through hilly country, where we encountered 
high winds, extreme cold and much snow. About 
midnight the Khan sent to the monk and us, requesting 
us to pray to God to make the storm cease as the 
animals of his train were like to die, being mostly 
with young. The monk sent him incense, desiring 
him to put it on the coals as an offering. Whether he 

* Kibitkas, or wagon tents. 


did this or no, I know not, but the wind and snow 
ceased, which had lasted two days. 

On Palm Sunday we were near Karakorum and at 
dawn of day we blessed the willow boughs on which 
there were as yet no buds. About nine o'clock we 
entered the city, carrying the cross aloft and passing 
through the street of the Saracens. We proceeded to 
the church where the Nestorians met us in procession. 
After Mass, it being now evening, William Bouchier 
the goldsmith brought us to sup at his lodging. He 
had a wife born in Hungary, and we found here also 
Basilicus, the son of an Englishman. 

After supper we retired to our cottage which, like 
the oratory of the monk, was near the Nestorian 
church a church of size very handsomely built, the 
ceiling covered with silk embroidered with gold. 

We remained in the city to celebrate the festival of 
Easter. There was a vast multitude of Hungarians, 
Alans, Ruthenians or Russians and Georgians and 
Armenians, who had not received the sacrament since 
they were taken prisoners. The Nestorians entreated 
me to celebrate the festival, and I had neither vest- 
ments nor altar. 

But the goldsmith furnished me with vestments, 
and made an oratory on a chariot, decently painted 
with Scripture histories ; he made also a silver box 
and an image of the blessed Virgin. 

Until now I had hoped for the arrival of the king 
of Armenia, and a certain German priest who was 
likewise expected. Hearing nothing of the king and 
fearing the severity of another winter, I sent to ask 
the pleasure of the Khan, whether we were to remain 
or to leave him. 


Next day some of the chief secretaries of the Khan 
came to me, one a Mongol who is cup-bearer to the 
Khan, and the rest Saracens. These men demanded 
on behalf of the Khan wherefore I had come to 
them ? To this I answered that Batu had ordered me 
to the Khan, to whom I had nothing to say on behalf 
of any man, unless I were to repeat the words of God, 
if he would hear them. 

Then they demanded what words I would speak, 
thinking I meant to prophesy prosperous things as 
others had done. 

I therefore said : " To Mangu I would say that 
God hath given much, for the power and riches that 
he enjoys come not from the idols of the Buddhists." 

Then they asked if I had been in Heaven, that I 
should know the commandments of God ? And they 
went to Mangu saying that I had said he was an 
idolater and a Buddhist, who kept not the command- 
ments of God. On the morrow the Khan sent again, 
explaining that he knew we had no message for him, 
but came to pray for him as other priests did, yet he 
wished to know if any of our ambassadors had ever 
been in his country. Then I declared unto them all 
I knew respecting David and Friar Andrew, all 
of which was put down in writing and laid before 

On Whitsunday I was called into the presence of the 
Khan. Before I went in, the goldsmith's son who was 
now my interpreter informed me that the Mongols 
had determined I was to return to my own country, 
and advised me to say nothing against it. 

When I came before the Khan I kneeled, and he 
asked me whether I had said to his secretaries that he 


was a Buddhist. To this I answered, "My lord, 
I said not so." 

" I thought well you said not so," he answered, 
" for it was a word you ought not to have spoken." 
Then, reaching forth the staff on which he leaned 
toward me, he said, " Be not afraid." 

To this I answered, smiling, that if I had feared 
I should not have come hither. 

" We Mongols believe there is but one God," he 
said then, "and we have an upright heart toward 

" Then," I responded, " may God grant you this 
mind, for without His gift it cannot be." 

" God hath given to the hand divers fingers," he 
added, " and hath given many ways to man. He hath 
given the Scriptures to you, yet you keep them not. 
Surely it is not in your Scriptures that one of you 
should dispraise another." 

" Nay," said I, " and I signified to your highness 
from the beginning that I would not contend with 
any one." 

" I speak not," said he, " of you. In like manner, 
it is not in your Scriptures that a man should turn 
from justice for the sake of profit." 

To this I answered that I had not come to seek 
money, having even refused what was offered me. 
And one of the secretaries then present avowed that 
I had refused a bar of silver and a piece of silk. 

" I speak not of that," said the Khan. " God 
hath given to you the Scriptures and ye keep them 
not ; but he hath given to us soothsayers, and we do 
what they bid us and live in peace." 

He drank four times, I think, before uttering this, 


and, while I waited attentively in expectation that he 
might disclose more respecting his faith, he spoke 
again : 

" You have stayed a long time here and it is my 
pleasure that you return. You have said that you dared 
not take my ambassador with you. Will you take, 
then, my messenger or my letters ? " 

To this I answered, if the Khan would make me 
understand his words and put them in writing, I 
would willingly carry them to the best of my power. 

He then asked if I would have gold or silver or 
costly garments, and I answered that we were accus- 
tomed to accept no such things, yet could not get out 
of his country without his help. He explained that he 
would provide for us, and demanded how far we wished 
to be taken. I said it were sufficient if he had us 
conveyed to Armenia. 

" I will cause you to be carried thither," he made 
answer, " after which, look to yourself. There are 
two eyes in a single head, yet they both behold one 
object. You came from Batu, and therefore you must 
return to him." 

Then, after a pause, as if musing, he said, " You 
have a long way to go. Make yourself strong with 
food, that you may be able to endure the journey." 

So he ordered them to give me drink, and I 
departed from his presence and returned not again. 



A LITTLE-KNOWN chapter of history is the 
contact of the Mongols with the Armenians 
and the Christians of Palestine after the death of 
Genghis Khan. Hulagu, his grandson, brother of 
Mangu who was then Khan, took over the dominion 
of Persia, Mesopotamia and Syria in the middle of the 
thirteenth century. What followed is well sum- 
marised in the Cambridge Medieval History -, Vol. IV, 

P- 175- 

" After more than a century's experience the 

Armenians could not trust their Latin* neighbours 
us allies. Haithon (king of the Armenians) put his 
trust not in the Christians but in the heathen Mongols 
who for half a century were to prove the best friends 
Armenia ever had. 

" At the beginning of Haithon's reign the Mongols 
. . . did good service to the Armenians by con- 
quering the Seljuks. Haithon made an offensive and 
defensive alliance with Baichu the Mongol general f 
and in 1244 became the vassal of the Khan Ogotai. 
Ten years later, he did homage in person to Mangu 

* The crusading barons who still maintained their fiefs in the Holy Land. 
notably Bohemond of Antioch. 

t Bachu in the text, as also Hethum, Ogdai, etc. The spelling has been 
altered to conform with the other chapters of this book. Baichu is often 
confused with Batu, who was a grnn.lson of Genghis Khan, and the first 
rukx of the Golden Horde in Russia. 


Khan and cemented the friendship between the two 
nations by a long stay at the Mongol court. 

" The rest of his reign was filled with a struggle 
against the Mamluks, whose northward advance was 
fortunately opposed by the Mongols. Haithon and 
Hulagu joined forces at Edessa to undertake the 
capture of Jerusalem from the Mamluks." 



earliest source was the Mongolian Altyn 
jL debter^ the Golden Book, now lost. Upon this 
was based the Chinese Yuan shi or Mongol Annals, 
and the history of Rashid ed-Din. (See below.) 

Another Mongolian work called the Secret History 
is preserved only in the Chinese translation, the Yuan 
cA'ao mi shi, originally written (1228) in Mongol, in 
Ugur letters by a contemporary of the great Khan. 

In the mid-seventeenth century the best known of 
the Mongol annalists, Ssanang Setzen, compiled his 
Chung taishi (Khadun Toghudji)^ a legendary account 
of the ancestors and life of Genghis Khan. It is 
distorted with Buddhist myths, but gives us the only 
intimate picture of the early Mongols. Translated 
into Russian by the Archimandrite Hyacinth, and 
thence at least in part into German by Isaac Jacob 
Schmidt in 1829. (See below.) 

Of the Chinese sources, the most important arc : 

The T'oung kien kang mou, or history of the im- 
perial dynasties, compiled by Ssi ma Kouang. This 
has very little to say about the early Mongol rulers. 
Available in a French translation of doubtful value, 
to-day, the Histoire generate de la Chine ^ tradutte du 



Tong-Kien-Kang-Mou par le Pere Joseph- Anne-Mane 
de Moyriac de Mailla^ dirigee par M. U Roux des 
Haute sr ay es^ Paris, 1777-1778. 

The Ch'in chfag /u, by an anonymous writer, gives 
a narrative of the Mongols beginning with Yesukai 
and ending with the death of Ogotai. 

From this, and the Yuan ch'ao mi ski, the most 
important of the Chinese sources, the Yuan Shi* or 
Mongol Annals, was compiled in 1370. It is more 
accurate than the work of Ssanang Setzen, but as in 
the case of the Mongol sagas of doubtful value when 
it deals with the western countries. It has been trans- 
lated into French under the title of the Histoire de 
Gentchiscan et de toute la dinastie des Mongous, tiree 
de r Histoire Chinoise by Anthony Gaubil, Paris, 1739. 

By all odds the most valuable source is the Jami- 
ut-Tavarikh, or Collection of Annals, by Fadrallah 
Rashid ed-Din, a Persian who was administrator of 
Persia under Ghazan Khan in the late thirteenth 
century. " There remain," said Rashid in his intro- 
duction, " in the archives of the Mongol Khan of 
Persia some historical fragments of acknowledged 
authority written in the Mongol language and 
characters/' ... In his task of translating and 
clarifying these documents Rashid a most gifted 
historian was aided by a staff of historians, Chinese 
Ugurs and Turks, and by the Mongols themselves. 
Unfortunately, the Jami-ut-Tavarikh is still un- 
translated, but has been published by Vrosset in the 
Gibbs Memorial Series, Leyden and London. 

The TaHkh-i-Jahan Gushai, or History of the 
World Conqueror, by Ala ed-Din Ata Malik, called 
Juvaini, written in 1257 or 1260 (Gibbs Memorial 


Scries, London, 1912-14), is almost of equal value, 
but disappointing to the biographer of Genghis Khan 
in that it gives at first hand only an account of the 
last ten years of the reign of the conqueror. 

Another contemporary source is the K'amil-ut- 
Tavarikh of Ibn Athir, called Nissavi, 1231. This is 
rather the history of Jelal ed-Din and the Persian 

The later works of Khwdndamir, the Habiba Siyar > 
1523, and the Raudata Safa y 1470, of his grandfather, 
Mirkhwand, contain only fragmentary notices of 
Genghis Khan. So also does the Fateh Nameh 
TavarM al Osman, or Osman History of Abulcair, 



Historia Dynastiorium. 

(The Syrian Gregorius lived in the mid-thirteenth 
century, and came into contact with the Mongols. His 
history of dynasties is valuable, and his anecdotes are 
unique. Translated into Latin by Pocock, 1663.) 

ABULGHAZI BAHADUR KHAN. Histoire genealogique 
des Tartars , Leyden, 1726. 

(The author, an Uzbek khan, wrote in the seven- 
teenth century, drawing most of his information from 
Rashid. Interesting, but of little value to the student 
until the author deals with his own period.) 

* Most of the sources for the life of Genghis Khan exist only in manuscript 
form, untranslated. The volumes in Group II are rare for t ho most jjart. 
Books that may be found in the larger public libraries and university libraries 
are marked with an asterisk. 


Khan translated from the Chinese, London, 

(Summarized in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.) 

ERDMANN, FRANZ VON. Vollstaendige Uebersicht 

der aeltesten tuerkischen, tatarischen und mog- 

holischen Voelkerstaemme nach Raschid-ud-Din's 

Vorgdnge> Kazan, 1841. 

Temudschin der Unerschiitterliche, Leipzig, 1862. 

KRAUSE, F. E. A. Cingis Han. Die Geschichte 
seines lebens nach der Chinesischen Reichsannalen, 
Heidelberg, 1922. 

(A short account of the Khan from the Chinese annals.) 
Geschichte Ostasiens> Gottengen, 1925. 

(An excellent summary of the Mongol conquests.) 

PETIS DE LA CROIX. Histoire du Grand Genghiz- 
can Premier Empereur des Anciens Mogols 
traduite de plusieurs Auteurs Orientaux & de 
Voyageurs Europeens, Paris, 1710. 

(The author devoted ten years to a translation of 
the Persian and Arabic sources. He did not consult 
the Chinese annals and the chief interest of his work 
to-day is in its details and anecdotes of the Persian 

SCHMIDT, ISAAC JACOB. Geschichte der Ost-Mon- 
go/en, etc., verfasst von Ssanang Seteen Chung- 
taidshij St. Petersburg, 1829. 

(A valuable translation from the Mongol saga, un- 
fortunately excessively rare.) 

VLADIMIRTZOV, B. J. Jenghis Khan, Berlin and 
Moscow, 1922. 

(A work of 176 pp. in Russian that refers frequently 
to the " Yuen-cao-mi-si.") 




BARTHOLD, WILHELM. Turkestan im Zeitalter des 
MongolcneinfallS) St. Petersburg, 1900. 

(Devoted in large part to Genghis Khan, and con 
taining matter from the sources not hitherto published 

Die Entstehung des Retches Tchinghiz-chans, St. 
Petersburg, 1896. 

CAHUN, LEON. Introduction a rhistoire de VAsie : 
Turcs et Mongols > des origines & 1405, Paris, 

(A curiously valuable book. The author, a brilliant 
linguist, drew material from many sources, but became 
fascinated by Turkish legends and Mongol military 

*CORDIER, HENRI. Histoire Generate de la Chine et 
de ses relations avec les pays etrangers> Paris, 

(Notable for its account of the contact of China with 
the west. The sketch of Genghis Khan in Vol. II 
. is drawn chiefly from de Mailla and d'Ohsson.) 

*CURTIN, JEREMIAH. The Mongols, Boston, 1908. 

(A popular translation of the Mongol sagas, it is 
uncertain from what source.) 

DE GUIGNES, J. Histoire gfnerale des Huns, des 
Turcs , des Mogols, Paris, 1756. 

(A gigantic work, from Chinese and other sources. 
It has little value to-day.) 


HOWORTH, SIR HENRY H. History of the Mongols^ 
London, 1876-88. 

(A monumental work, valuable to the student, based 
mainly upon Erdmann and d'Ohsson.) 

MOURADGA D'OHSSON. Histoire des Mongols depuis 
Tchinguiz-Khanjusqu'a Timour Bey, The Hague 
and Amsterdam, 1834-5. 

(A full and informative history of the Mongols, from 
the Persian and Arab writers though Gaubil has also 
been consulted. Like M. Cordier, Baron d'Ohsson 
is antagonistic to Genghis Khan, and reveals him only 
as a military commander of the Mongols.) 



BERGERON, PIERRE. Relation des voyages en Tar- 
tarie de Fr. Gvittavme de RvbrvyvtSj Fr. yean 
d*u Plan Gar pin. P/vs vn traicte des Tar tares, 
Paris, 1634. 

(The treatise on the " Tartars " is remarkable for 
its day.) 

*CARPINI, JOHN OF PLANO. Hakluyt Society, London, 
1900, II Series, Vol. IV. 

(The first European to visit the Mongols, less than 
a generation after the death of Genghis Khan.) 

IBN BATUTA. Translated by Defremery and San- 
guinetti, Paris, 1853. 

(The travels of the celebrated Arab who passed through 
most of Asia at the end of the Mongol dominion.) 


*MARCO POLO. The Book of Marco Polo, translated 
by Sir Henry Yule and edited by Henri Cordier, 
London, 1921. 

of William of Rubruk to the eastern parts of 
the World, Hakluyt Society, London, 1900. 
II Series, Vol. IV. 


BAZIN, M. Le Siecle des You$n y ou tableau htstorique 
de la litter ature Chinoise depuis favencment des 
empereurs mongols, Paris, 1850. 

*BRETSCHNEIDER, E. Medieval Researches Jrom 
Eastern Asiatic Sources, London, 1888. 

(Bits of the geography of Ye Liu Chutsai and a summary 
of the western campaigns of Genghis Khan.) 

of Persia. Vol. II from Firdawsi to Sa'dL 
Vol. Ill under Tartar Dominion. Cambridge, 
(Contains a good modern dissertation on the Mongols.) 

^Cambridge Medieval History, Vol. IV, the Eastern 
Roman Empire, New York, 1923. 

(A summary of the Mongol conquests, with a new 
appreciation of their importance.) 

CORDIER, HENRI. M Manges d'Histoire et de Gto- 
graphie Orientales, Tome II, Paris, 1920. 
(The Mongol invasion of Europe.) 


DUBEUX, Louis. TartariC) Paris, 1840. 

DULAURIER, EDOUARD. Les Mongols cTapres Us 
his tor tens armeniens. Journal Asiatique, fth 
sen, 1858, pp. 192-255. Also 1860, pp. 295- 

PEER, LEON. La Puissance et la Civilisation Mon- 
goles au treizieme siecle y Paris, 1867. 

JOINVILLE. (Edited by Francisque-Michel) Paris, 
(One of the best of the medieval chronicles.) 

JORDAIN, CATALANI P. Mirabllia Descripta sequitur 
de Magno Tartaro. 

(A medieval viewpoint. To this might be added 
the Relations taken out of Roger Wendover and Matthew 
Paris, in Purchas.) 

JULG, BERNHARD. On the Present State of Mon- 
golian Researches, J.R.A.S., January, 1882. 

*LANE-POOLE, STANLEY. The Mohammedan Dynas- 
ties, Westminster, 1894. 

MONTGOMERY, JAMES A. The History of Yaballaha 
III. New York, 1927. 

(A translation of the Syriac chronicle of the journey 
of the Mongol bishop to Rome late in the thirteenth 

WERNER, E. T. C. The Burial Place of Genghis 
Khan. Journal of the North China Branch of 
the Royal Asiatic Society. Vol. LVI 1925. 

MOSHEIM, J. L. Historia Tartarorum ecclesiastica> 
Helmstadt, 1741. 


PARKER, E. H. A Thousand Tears of the Tatars, 
New York, 1924. 

(An excellent account of the Tatar peoples up to the 
birth of Genghis Khan.) 

PETIS DE LA CROIX, FRANCOIS (the son of dc la 
Croix, the author of the life of Genghis Khan). 
Abrege Chronologique de rHistoire Ottomane y 
Paris, 1768. 

(Summaries of the rulers of the Mongol peoples 
from Genghis Khan to the seventeenth century.) 

QUATREMERE, M. Histoire des Mongols de la Perse 
par Raschid-eldin, tradnlte^ accompagnee de notes, 
Paris, 1836. 

(The life of Rashid, and the splendid notes on Mongol 
customs would make this valuable, even if it were not 
the only translation of Rashid, though merely a portion 
of the Jami-ut-Tavarikh.) 

RfiMUSAT, JEAN PIERRE ABEL. Nouveaux Melanges 
Asiatiques, Paris, 1829. 

(Sketches of Subotai, Ye Liu Chutsai and others.) 

Observations sur rHistoire des Mongols orientaux 
de Ssanang Setzen, Paris, 1832. 

RMUSAT, JEAN PIERRE ABEL. Memoires sur les 
relations politiques des princes Chretiens et par- 
culierement des Rois de France avec les Empereurs 

Institut Royal, Memoires de rAcademie des in- 
scriptions et belles lettres. Paris, 1822. 

(An important summary of the correspondence be- 
tween the Mongols and the monarchs of Europe, well 
worth reading.) 


Melanges posthumes et de literature Orientates 
Analyse de fhtstoire des Mongols de Sanang- 
Setsen. Paris, 1843. 

*STUBE, RUDOLF. Tschingizchan : seine Staats- 
bildung und seine Persijhnlichkeit. In Neue 
^ahrbucher jilr das klassische Altertun^ Vol. 
XXI, 1908, pp. 532-541. 
(A brief commentary on the conqueror.) 

Russian Mission through Mongolia to China. 
With Corrections and Notes by Klaproth, Lon- 
don, 1827. 

(Translated apparently from the French. Valuable 
geographic and historical research by a member of one 
of the Russian embassies.) 

VISDELOU, CLAUDE. Supplement to D'Hcrbelot's 
Bibliotheque Qrientale, Paris, 1780. 

*YuLE, SIR HENRY. Cathay and the Way Thither, 
Revised by Cordier Hakluyt Society, 2nd series, 
Nos. 33, 37, 38, 41. 


Abd el Rahman, 241 

Abel Remusat. 245, not* 

Accoutrements, 43, 124 

Adriatic Sea. 203, 233 

Afghanistan, 147, 159 

Africa, zi8 

Aia-eddin Mohammed, Shah 

(set Mohammed Shah) 
Alans, 150, 261 
Alexander III, Pope, 212 
Alexander the Great, n, 14, 114, 

172, 1 86, 210, 2ZZ 

Almalyk, 100, 2x9 

Almalyk, Khan of, no 

Amiot, Father, 251, note 

Amir, 168 

Amu River, 136, 140, 147, 154, 

159, 166 

Andrew, Friar, 262 
Answer to the Dhimnris, An, 

Richard Gottheil, 240, note 
Antioch, 203 
Aral Sea, 112, 120, 136, 144, 148, 

161, 205 

Arghun, Il-khan, 46, 240 
Armenia, 14, 202 
Armenia, King of, 261 
Armenians, 200, 211, 240, 265 

writings of. 15 
Asia Minor, 203, 239 
Astley's Voyages, 252, note 
Astrologers, 70, 125 
Atabeg, 120 
Attila, 13 

Aubon, Ponce d*. 230. 236 
Austria, 228, 242 
Avars, 114 

Babar (grandson of Genghis 
Khan), log. 204 

opinion of (ienghis Khan, 217 
Bacon, Roger, 13 
Badakshan, 170 

Baghdad, 120, 121, 148 203, 206, 
Baghdad, Kalif of, nO, 118. 253 
Baibars (grandson of Genghis 

Khan), 230 
P.aichu, 239 

Papa! envoys to, 241 

variations of name, 265, note 
Balkul, Lake. 18, 25, 66. 123, 205 
Balkash, Lake. 128 
Balkh, I2T, 139, 146, zoo 
Bamboo Books. 82 
Bamiyan, 180 
Barmecides, The, Zl8 
Basilicus, 261 

Batu (grandson of Genghis 
Kban), 109, 198 

army of, 220 

capital of, 242 

defeated by Tamerlane, 204 

encampment of, 255, note 

Europe, in 203, 228 

Golden Horde of 228. 265. note 
Bayan, 46 
Barin. M., 251, note 
Beauvais, Vincent de 242, note 
Bela IV, King, 12, 229, 231, 132 
Bda Noyon, 183 

cities ravaged by, z8s 
Belgutai (half-brother of Genghis 

Khan), 29, 30 
Bengal. 20^ 
Bibliography, 267 

278 INDEX 

Birds. River of, 163 

Bishbalik, 69 

Black Cathay (see Cathay, Black) 

Black Sands, The (see Kara- 


Black Sea. 229 
Blanche of Castile, Queen* 12 
Blochet, 251, note 
Bogdo, Z5. 73. I?* 
Bohemia, King of, 229 
Bohemians, 230 

Bohemond of Antioch, 265, note 
Bokhara, Z2Z, 136, 139, 159. 207, 


sacking of, 140 

walls of, 139 
Boleslas of Poland, 12, 228, 229, 

Book of the Yuan, The, Father 

Amiot, 251, note 
Borchu, 31, 45, 49 
Bouchier, William, 259, 261 
Boulger, Demetrius, 223 
Bourchikoun Stock, 22, 29, 60, 78 
Bourtai Fid j en (wife of Genghis 
Khan), 23, 29, 34* *9*. *95 

burial-place of, 206 

capture of, 39 

marriage to Genghis Khan, 36 

saves her husband* 40 

sons of, 109 
Brandenburg, 230 
British in India, 205 
Buddhism, in 

Buddhists, 171, 211. 249, 258, note; 

Mongols become, 204 
Bulgars, 152 
Bur an, 127 

Caesar. Julius, 210 

Caesars, The, n 

Cahun, Le*on, 219 ; notes on pages 

219, 231* 233, 234. 236, 251 
Cambridge Medieval History. The, 

104, not* ; 209* 265 

Caravan Routes, 136, 148, 274 
Carpathian Mts., 229, 234 
Carpini, Fra, 13, 76, 79, 252 ; 

254. **** 
description of Mongols, 236 

Carts, Battle of the, 35 

Caspian Sea, 147, 160, 186, 194. 

202, 204. 219, 239, *4Z 
Cathay, 201 

Christians in, 212 

civilization of, 8z, 103 

downfall of, zoo 

dynasties of, 56, note; 8z, 89 

emperor, new, 87 

emperor, weak policy of, 96 

Kubilai Khan in, 204 

loyalty to throne, 98 

meaning of name, 56, note 

Mongol attacks on, 91, 95, zoo 

savants of, 152 

tribute paid to, 84 

wall of, 85 

war engines of, 83, Z34 

weakness of, 84 

Ye Liu Chutsai, 245 
Cathay, Black, 72, 87, ZO9 
Catherine the Great, Empress, 205 
Caucasus Mts., 150 
Chamuka, 61, 68 
Charmagan, 202 
Chartres, 236 
Chatagai (son of Genghis Khan) 


army of, 202 
council, at, 188 
duties of, 109 
feud with Ogotai, 203 
loyalty of, 200 
monarch, a, 198 
power inherited by, 194 
Chep Noyon, 79, 91, zoo, zoo 
against Cathay, 90, 92 
Cathay, fighting for, 86 
death of, 151 
Gutchluk, defeat of, zzz 
Mohammedan*, battle with, 130 
northward march, z 5* 


Chep4 Noyon, Persia, inarch into, 


pursuit of Mohammed Shah, 


ruse of, 94 

service in the Gobi, on, 99 
strategy of, 140, 142 
tutor to Juchi, 58 
valour of, 47 
wanderings of, 112 
Chih-li, 91 
Chin Empire, 91, 95, 102 ; notes on 

pages 56, 89, 1 20 
China (see Cathay) 
China Sea, 112, 219 
Chinese, writings of, 15 

(see also Cathay) 
Chin shan, 127 
Christians. Mongols and, 240 

(see also Nestorian Christians) 
Chroniclers of Genghis Khan, 16, 
152, 157, 189, 191, 193, 195. 
196, 206, 210, 219, 236, 239 
Circassians, 1 50 
Cities, destruction of, 143, 164. 

165, 167. 181 

Columbus, Christopher, 208 
Confucius, 82, note 
Constantinople, 203, 208, 252 
Cordier, Henri, 234, note 
Cracov, 229 
Crimea, The, 151, 205 
Croats, 231 

Crusaders, Fiefs of, .'65, note 
Crusaders, End of, 207 

Damascus, 203 
Damascus, Kalif of, llS 
Danube River, 232 
Daroga, 152, 173 
Delhi, 185 

Deligoun-Bouldak, Mt., 77 
De Quincey, Thomas, 205 
Dnieper River, 151, 219, 222 
Dubeux, Louis, 251, note 


Easter Celebration, 261 

Edessa, 266 

Education, Mongol. 201 

Edward I, King, 241 

Egypt, xi 8, 221 

Elbe River, 233 

Europe, correspondence 

Mongols, 238 
opinion of Mongols, 236 
Subotai v. Middle, 229 

Fakirs, 174 

Feasts, Mongol, 35 

Flight of a Tatar Tribe. De Quincey, 


France. 239, 252 
Frederick II, Emperor, 12 ; 54, 

note; 239 

Gama, Vasco da, 208 
Genghis Khan, administration, 
tolerant, 177 

alliance with Prester John, 55 

allies of, 88, in 

ambition of, 54 

ancestry of, 22 

appearance, personal, 23 

attacks on Cathay. 91, 95, 100 

Baghdad, envoy from, 116 

Barmy an stormed by, 180 

battle-front of, 135 

battle with Prester John, 63 

birth-name of, 19 

birthplace of, 19 

Bokhara taken, 140 

Bourtai captured, 39 

boyhood of, 21 

burial of, 196 

burial-place of, 196 

capture of, 27 

Carts, battle of the, 35 

character of youthful, 33 



Genghis, Khan, chid of til khans, 

chosen, 66, 72 
Chinese title of, 58 
chroniclers of; 14, 152, 157, 189, 

I9L 193, 195. I96* 206, 2zo, 

219, 239 

code of laws of, 73, 2x4 
commanders of, 79 
communication, army, 172 
conquests of, 69 
costume of, 124 
council of, 187, 1 88 
court of, 105 
culture and, 207 
death of, 194 
demands of, 45 
descendants of, 204 
desert march of, 138 
effects of conquests, 205 
empire, extent of, 14, 112, 113, 

1 86 

empire intact after death of, 202 
enemies of, 26 
envoys slain, 116 
escape from Targoutai, 27 
father's death, 24 
first-born, mourning for his, 193 
gifts from Cathayans, 96 
governing Cathay, 102 
governing in absence, 122 
grandson slain, 181 
Hia, destruction of, 192 
home, return, 186 
horde, strength of, 218 
horse-posts established, 169, 270 
horses stolen from, 30 
hunting, goes, 154 
Indus, battle on the, 182 
inherits khanship, 24 
instructions of, last, 194 
Islam campaign, length of, 186 
judgment of, 49 
Karakorum. capital of, 104 
Kha Khan, 72 
letter- writing, 172 
loyalty of followers, 40 
manoeuvres of, 93 
Marco Polo on, 69 

Genghis Khan, marriage of, 36 

message to Emperor of Cathay, 

mourning, period of, 198 

mystery of, the, zz 

names of, iz, 112 

night attack by Karaite, 61 

non-combatants with, 126 

notes on, 209 

nucleus of kingdom, 69 

obedience of sons to, 199 

opinion of himself, 171, 187 

orientation of pavilion, 189 

paladins of, 47, 71 

personality of, Z5 

personal valour of, z8z 

policy of, 167, 211 

policy toward Cathay, 85 

power of, 1 06 

prayer of, 46 

Prester John aids, 38 

prestige of. 112 

religion, treatment of, 74, 105 

reproach to Prester John, 65 

seal, first royal, 71 

soldiers lent to Cathay, 86 

sons of, legitimate, 109 

statecraft of, 61 

strength of, 54 

Tatars crushed by, 58 

temper of, terrible, 177 

Temujin, 19 

Torrents the, and, 47 

trade, interest in, 116, 172 

transport problems, 122 

tribute asked from, 88 

tribute demanded by, 176 

war with Mohammed Shah, zi8 

wives of, 87, 96, 1 08 

wounded, 94 

Ye Liu Chutsai and. 245 
George of Russia, Grand-Duke, zx 
Georgia, 150 
Georgians, 211, 261 
Germans, 230, 231, 233 
Ghazan Khan, 204 
Ghazna, 182 
Ghazna, Mahmond of, ZZ9 


Gobi Desert, za. 17, 97, z86 

life in the, 18 
Gog. 13 

Golden Horde, The, 203, 229 
Gottheil, Richard, 240, note 
Gran, 233 
Granada, 118 
Great Wall of China, 85 
Guildar, 63 
Gupta Hill, 55 
Gur-kkan, 6z 
Gurtai, 155 
Gutchluk, 48. 72, 113, 149 

death of, in 

empire of, zzo 


Haithon, 265, 266 
Hamadan, 148 
Hannibal, 84, 92, 94 
Haroun al Rashld, 1 1 8, 249 
Henry III of England, King, 12 
Henry of Silesia, Duke, 12 
Henry the Pious, 228, 230 
Herat, zaz, 167 
Hia, 87, 94, 1 86 

destruction of, 192 
Himalaya Mts., 246 
Hindu Kush Mts., 168, 180 
Hindustan, 205 
History of the Mongols. Howorth, 

240, note 

Hiung-nu Monarchs, 78, 222 
Hoang Ho River, 202 
Holy Land, 207 

Mongols in, 265 
Holy Sepulchre, 207 
Ho-pao, 125, 224 
Horses, 32, 48, 191, 200, note 
Hospitallers, 230 
Houlun (mother of Genghis Khan), 

az, 24, 27, 29, 39, 5* 
Howorth, Sir Henry, 218 ; notes on 

pages 234, 240 
Hulagu (grandson of Genghis 

Khan), 266 

Hulagu, conquest of, to$ 
descendants of, 204 
dominion of, 266 
Syrian command of, 240 

Hungarians, 229, 261 

Hungary, 228, 242 

Huns, 114 

Idikut of the Swooping Hawks, 


Idikut of the Ugurs, 160, 189, 218 
/A/nWur, 36 
Il-khans, 204, 207, 240 
Imam, 140 
Ir.aljnk, Governor of Otrar, zz6. 


India. 119, 185, 204 
Indus River, 114 

battle on the, 182 
Innocent IV, Pope, 54, not*; 241, 


Invasion, Plan of, 221 
Iron Gate of Alexander, 150 
Islam, arming of, 159 

destruction of power of, 207 

faith of, 1x7 

first view of, 128 

military power of, 119 

savants of, 140 
Ivan the Terrible (Grodznoi), 204 

Jamshid, 119 

Japan. 203 

Jaxartes River (see Syr River) 

Jelal ed-Din. Sultan, 131, 135, 154 

army, raising, 146 

end of power, 202 

escape of, 154, 185 

Mongols defeated by, zto 

pursuit of, 185 

victory, action in, 182, 183 
Jend, Z38 
Jerome. St., 13 


Jerusalem, 118, 203, 241, 266 

Jews, 173 

Jihad, 167 

John of Piano Carpini (see Carpini, 


Joinville, 239 

Juchi (eldest son of Genghis 
Khan). 58, 95. 155, 158, 210, 
2**, 14* 

army of, 220 

attack on Mohammed Shah, 130 

death at. 193 

disobedience of, 178 

duties of, 109 

Mohammedans, battle with. 130 

Persia, march into, 125. 126 

reconciliation with father, 191 

sent away from army, 160 

tactics of, 131 

wandering of. 114 

Ka'aba, The, 118 

Kabul Khan. 22. 25 

Kaf Mountain, 114 

Kaidu (grandson of Genghis 

Khan), 230, 234 
Kalifs, Baghdad, of, 116 

power broken, 203 
Kalmuks, 205 

Kambalu. 174 and note ; 208 
Kong, 28 

Kankali Turks, 144 
Karaits, 22, 30, 38, 55, 78, no, 2x1 

defeat by Genghis Khan, 68 

Mongol spoil taken by, 60 
Kara Khitai, 109, 120, note 
Karakorum, 68, 84, 103, no, 170, 
194/198. 212, 235, 239, 242, 

council, return from, 191 

Court City, the, 201 

fate of, 106, 206 

headquarters of Genghis Khan, 

Karakorum, Mangu's court at, 259 

Kara Tau. 128 

Kashmir, 186 

Kassar (brother of Genghis 

Khan), 21, 26, 29, 30, 45, 46, 

50, 210 
Kasvin, 149 
Kerulon River, 25, 33 
Kha Khan, 72 171, 172, 198. 204, 


choosing the, 199 

Kharesm, 120, note; 154, 187, 207 
Kharesm, Shah of, 115, 116 
Khingan Mts., 25, 95 
Khojend, 133 
Khokond, 133 
Khorassan, 121, 139, 162, 179, 180, 


Khoten, 69 

Kibitka, 42, 1 88 ; 259, note 
K'ien lung. Emperor, 205 
Kiev, 151. 209, 228 
Kipchaks, 114, 150, 220 
Kirghiz, 87 
Kirghiz Chiefs, 189 
Kiyat, 47 

Koh-i-Baba. Mts., 180 
Ko pao yu, 125 
Koran, The, 118 

desecration of, 141 
Korea, 14, 100, 203 
Koreans, 220 

Kubilai Khan (grandson of Genghis 
Khan), 16, xoo, 109, 174, note: 
203, 210 

army of, 220 

court of, 204 

council, at, 189 

death of, results of, 204 

Japan, against, 203 
Kubla Khan (see Kubilai Khan) 
Kumiss, 19 
Kunduz, 139 
Kurds, 150 
Kurultai, 49. 72, 22 1 

description of, x88 
Kuyuk, 203 



Lahore, 184 

Lamas, 174, 208 

Lane-Poole, Stanley, 2x8 

Lashgar, 252 

Laws, Code of, 73, 2x4 

Lemberg, 228 

Liao Princes, 89, 93, 96 

Liao-tung, 89, 94, 95, 96, 99, 100, 


Liao-yang. 93 

Liegnitz, 12, 230, 231 

Lion King, The, 189 

Lion Lord of the Western Turks, 88 

Liquors, Mongol, 256 

Literary History of Persia, A, Ed- 
ward C. Browne, 120, note 

Lomnitz, 232 

Longfellow, Henry W., 251, note 

Louis IX, King, 12, 230, 233, 

252 ; 253, note 
correspondence of, 239 

Lyons, Council of, 13, 239 

Magog, 13 

Magyars (see Hungarians) 
Mahmoud, 119 
Malay States, 203 
Malik, Emir, 183 
Mamluks, 120, 207, 22 x, 253, 266 
Manchus, 220 

Mangu (grandson of Genghis 
Khan), 203, 234, 265 

appearance, personal, 256 

army of, 220 

court of, 253 

hospitality of, 256 
Mangudai, 131, note 
Manhut Clan, 63 
Maps, 57. 59 
Massacres. Mongol, 209 
Massena, Marshal, 90 
Massif, 186 
Mecca, 118 

Memoirs of Bator. Emptrvr of 
Hindustan, ErsJtine and Ley 
den, 2x7 
Merik, 164 

Merkits, 39, 55, 78, XXO 
Merv, 147 

storming of, 163 
Mesopotamia, 203, 265 
Mingan, Prince, xoo 
Moghuls, 205, note 
Mohi, Battle of, 231, 232 
Moldavia, 231 
Mongols, 47 

accoutrements, 124 

ancestry of. 23. note 

army, value of, 202 

besieging Timur Malik, 133 

Bokhara, in, 140 

camping, 126 

captives, treatment of, 69, 97, 
139* 165, 1 66, 1 86 

character, 74, 76, 211 

council of khans, 66 

councils of, 80 

conquests after Ogotai't death, 

correspondence with Europe, 230 

education of. 201 

empire dissolved, 204, 205 

Europe, in. 12, 229 

European opinion of, 236 

feuds of, 38 

fighting methods, 42 

foraging, 129 

golden age of, 263 

Golden Horde, the, 203 

heat on, efiect of, 185 

horse-post camps, 70 

hospitality of, 105 

hunt, a clan, 60, 

hunt, an army, li 

illiteracy of, 

Jclal ed-Din, i 

laws, code of,] 

liquors of. 25 

loyalty, imp 

massacres 1 


Karakorum. Mangu's court at, 239 
Jews, 173 
Jihad. 167 
John of Piano Carpini (see Carpini, 


Jerusalem, xxS, 203. 241, 166 

Kara Tau, 128 
Kashmir. z86 
Kassar (brother 

of Genghis 

Joinville, 239 
Juchi (eldest son of Genghis 

Khan), 58, 95. 155. *58, 210, 

**. 24* 
army of, 220 

attack on Mohammed Shah, 130 
death e*. 193 
disobedience of. 178 
duties of, 109 

Mohammedans, battle with, 130 
Persia, march into, 125, 126 
reconciliation with father, 191 
sent away from army, 160 
tactics of, 131 
wandering ol 1x4 

Ka'aba, The. 118 

Kabul Khan, 22, 25 

Kaf Mountain, 114 

Kaidu (grandson of Genghis 

Khan), 230, 234 
Kalifs, Baghdad, of, 1x6 

power broken, 203 
Kalmuks, 205 

Kambalu, 174 and note ; 208 
Kang. 28 

Kankali Turks, 144 
Karaite, 22, 30, 38, 55, 78, no, 2x1 

defeat by Genghis Khan, 68 

Mongol spoil taken by, 60 
Kara Khitai, 109. 120, note 
Karakorum. 68, 84, 103, no, 170, 
194. '^98, *. *35. 239, 242, 

council, return from, 191 

Court City, the, 201 

fate of. 106. 206 

headquarters of Genghis Khan, 

Khan), 21, 26, 29. 30, 45, 46. 

50, 210 
Kasvin, 149 
Kerulon River, 25, 33 
Kha Khan, 72 171, 172, 198, 204, 


choosing the, 199 

Kharesm, 120, note; 154. 187. 207 
Kharesm, Shah of. 115, 116 
Khingan Mts., 25, 95 
Khojend, 133 
Khokond, 133 
Khorassan, 121, 139, 162, 179, x8o, 

1 88 

Khoten, 69 

Kibitka, 42, 1 88 ; 250. note 
K'ien lung, Emperor, 205 
Kiev, 151, 209, 228 
Kipchaks. 114, 150, 220 
Kirghiz, 87 
Kirghiz Chiefs, 189 
Kiyat. 47 

Koh-i-Baba, Mts., 180 
Ko pao yu, 125 
Koran, The, 118 

desecration of, 141 
Korea, 14, 100, 203 
Koreans, 220 

Kubilai Khan (grandson of Genghis 
Khan), 16, 100, 109, 174, note'. 
203, 210 

army of, 220 

court of, 204 

council, at, 189 

death of, results of, 204 

Japan, against. 203 
Kubla Khan (see Kubilai Khan) 
Kumiss, ig 
Kunduz, 139 
Kurds, 150 
Kurultai, 49, 72, 221 

description of, x88 
Kuyuk, 203 

Lahore, 184 

Lamas. 174, 208 

Lane-Poole, Stanley, 2x8 

Lashgar, 252 

Laws. Code of, 73. 2x4 

Lemberg, 228 

Liao Princes. 89, 93. 96 

Liao-tung. 89, 94, 95, 96, 99, 100, 


Liao-yang, 93 

Liegnitz, 12, 230, 231 

Lion King. The. 189 

Lion Lord of the Western Turks, 88 

Liquors, Mongol, 256 

Literary History oj Persia. A, Ed- 
ward G. Browne, 120. note 

Lomnitz. 232 

Longfellow. Henry W., 251, note 

Louis IX, King. 12, 230, 233. 

252 : 253, note 
correspondence of. 239 

Lyons. Council of, 13, 239 

Magog, 13 

Magyars (see Hungarians) 
Mahmoud, 119 
Malay States. 203 
Malik, Emir. 183 
Mamluks, 120. 207, 221. 253. 266 
Manchus. 220 

> Mangu (grandson of Genghis 
Khan), 203. 234, 265 

appearance, personal, 256 

army of, 220 

court of, 253 

hospitality of, 256 
Mangudai, 131, note 
Manhut Clan, 63 
Maps. 57. 59 
Massacres, Mongol. 209 
Masse'na, Marshal, 90 
Massif. 186 
Mecca, n8 

INDEX *8 3 

Memoir* of Babar, Emperor of 
Hindustan. Er&kine and Lay 
den, 2x7 
Merik, 164 

Merkits, 39, 55, 78, no 
Merv, X47 

storming of, 163 
Mesopotamia, 203, 265 
Mingan, Prince, xoo 
Moghuls, 205, note 
Mohi, Battle of. 23X, 232 
Moldavia, 231 
Mongols, 47 

accoutrements, 124 

ancestry of. 23, note 

army, value of. 202 

besieging Timur Malik, 133 

Bokhara, in, 140 

camping, 126 

captives, treatment of, 69, 97, 
*39, 165, 166, 186 

character. 74, 76. 211 

council of khans, 66 

councils of, 80 

conquests after Ogotai't death, 

correspondence with Europe, 230 

education of, 201 

empire dissolved, 204, 205 

Europe, in, 12, 229 

European opinion of, 236 

feuds of, 38 

fighting methods. 42 

foraging, 129 

golden age of, 263 

Golden Horde, the, 203 

heat on, effect of, 185 

horse-post camps, 70 

hospitality of, 105 

hunt, a clan, 60, 

hunt, an army, 

illiteracy of, 

Jelal ed-Din, ( 

laws, code of.j 

liquors of, : 

loyalty, imp 


284 INDEX 

Bokhara, merrymaking of, 36 

Moghuls, 205 

Mohammedan wars with, 56 

notes on, 209 

Persia, march into, 125 

plan of invasion, 221 

preparations for war, 88 

pursuit of Wai Wang, 99 

retreats, reason for, 93 

Russians and, 151 

silver age of, 207 

strength of, 40, 90, 125, 218 

struggle to live, 25 

Taidjuts, 26 

territory marched over, 123 

trading of, 1 16 

tradition of, 33 

union of, 78 

war engines, 134, 224, 233 

weaknesses of, 77 

weapons, 79 

women, duties of, 38, 123 
Moravia, 229, 230 
Moscow, 153 
Mou-baligh, 181, 209 
Mourning, Period of, 198 
Muezzin. 166 

Mohammed the Prophet, 211 
Mohammedans, 12 

artisans, 173 

hatred of Genghis Khan, 211 

Mongols and, 15, 56, in, 184, 240 

Mongols become, 204 

title of Genghis Khan, 171 

trade goods of, 1x4 
Mohammed Shah, 115, 120 

character of, 120 

death of, 149 

flight of, 139 

losses in battle, 131 

strategy of, 137, 158 

strength of, 120, 129 

throne of, 190 

war with Genghis Khan, 1x7 
Muhuli, 46. 78, 160 

against Cathay, 90 

omanding at Yen-king, xoo 

Muhuli, death of, 186 
governing Cathay, xxx, 121 
Sung, conquest of the, 103 

Mullahs, xxx 

Multan, 185 

Munlik, 52 

Murgh Ab, 163 

Myths of tkf Middle Ages 
Raring-Gould, 2x3 


Naimans, 55, 66, ixo 

Nan-lu, 87 

Napoleon, 13, 90, 172, sxz 

Nesa, 162 

Nestorian Christians, 38, 71, 75, 

105. X52, 2X2, 254. 259 

Ney, Marshal, 93 

Nieustadt, 242 

Nisapur, 147, 166 

Nouveaux Melanges Asiatics, Abel 

R6musat, 245, not* 
Noyon, 106 

Oder River, 431 

Ogotai (son of Genghis Khan), 190, 
198, 265 

administrator of, 246 

army of, 202, 220 

cause of death of. 246 

character of, 248 

council of, 202 

death of, 203, 235 

duties of, 109 

feud with Chatagai, 203 

Genghis Khan's successor, 199 

life of, 251, note 

power inherited by, 294 

rule of, 200 

son, death of, 181, 193 

treasure of, 248 

tribute paid to, 201 
Olmutz, 233 
Omar al Khayyami, xxft 


Onon River, 25, 54 

Or**. 24. 47 

Ordu~b*ligh, 20X 

Qrkhons, 79. 87, 88, zoo. 106, 

195* 199 

ride of the, 146 
OrfeA, 109 
Othmans, 207 
Otrar, 116, 137 
Oxus River (SM Ainu River) 

Paladins, Bela's. 132 

costumes of, 189 

court of the, 1 88 

Genghis Khan's 47, 71 
Palestine, 240 
Paris, 236 

Paris, Matthew, 218 
Parthians, 80 
Peking. 81 
Pe /. 127, 130 
Persia, 139, 159. 203, 104, 265 

kings of. 114 

Persia, Sir Percy Sykes, 219 
Persian Gulf, 120 
Persians, 80 

writings of. 13 
Peshawar, 186 
Perth. 222, 231. 233 
P6tis d la Croix. 2x7 
Physicians, 70, 126. 168, 178 
Pilgrims, 174 

> Poland. 190. 206, 228, 233 
Polo, Marco, 69. 75. 153. 174. 204, 

208, 2x3 

Pony Express, The, 169, 172 
Post Roads, description of, 173 

stations, 173, 174, 175 

tribute paid on, 176 
Praster John. 22, 30, 38, 149 

alliance with Genghis Khan, 30 

battle with Genghis Khan, 63 

Chinese title of, 58 

death of, 68 

enemy to Genghis Khan. 61 

Presttr John, flight of, 205 

notes on, 2x2 
Pripet Marches, 230 

" Raging Torrents, The," 47 

Ragusa, 233 

Religions, Treatment of, 105. xxo, 

Roads, importance of, 208 

making of, 176 
Roof of the World, The, 113, 1x4, 

1 86 
Rnbruquis, Fra, 74, xo8, 208, 240 

description of Mongols, 252 
Russia, 151, 204, 206, 222, 229 
Russians. 261 
Ruthenia, 228 
Ruthenians, 261 

Saint-Denis. 260 

Samarkand, no, 121, 136, 139. 159 

administration. Mongol, 186 

surrender of, 140 
Saracens, 262 
Saxony, 230 
Sayo River, 231 
Sayyid, 120, 140 
Scriptures, The, 261, 263 
Seal, Royal, 71 
Seljuks, X2o, 239, 265 
Sergius (monk), 259 
Shaibani, 204 
Shaman, 50, 52 
Shan-si, 91, 95 
Shiraz, 190 

Short History of China, A, Deme- 
trius, Boulger, 223 
Sicily, 118 
Sitcle des You**, ., M. Bazin, 251 

Silesia. 22 

Silesia, Duke of, 230 

Smyrna, 203 



Soo, 4 6 

Soothsayers. 75, 249 

Spalato, Thomas de, 232 and 236, 

Speculum Historiale, Vincent de 

Beauvais, 242, note 
Ssanang Setzen, 15, 54, note 
Stones of the Nations (Turkey), 218 
Strakosch-Grassman, 234, note 
Subotai Bahadur, 48, 79, 101, 160 
1 68, 191, 201 

against Cathay, 90 

army of, 220 

conquest of Europe, 203, 229 

death of, 242 

endurance of, 236 

Europe, return from, 179, 188 

Korea, in, 100 

Merkits, against the, no 

northward march, 150 

observations of, 152 

pursuit of Mohammed Shah, 146 

service of, 47 

value of, 202 
Sung, The, 99, 103 

conquest of, 193 

sparing of, 201 
Sungarian Pass, 127 
Susdal. 206 
Sykes, Sir Percy, 219 
Syr River, 128, 129, 132, 136, 187 
Syria, 240, 265 

Tabula rasa, 166 
Tagkdumba^h, 113, 114 
Taidjnts, 26, 40 

attack on Genghis Khan, 42 

(see also Mongols) 
Taitong-fu, 91, 92 
Tamerlane, no, 217 

Mongols conquered by, 204 
Tang, 82 
Targoutai, 26 
Te*-kh*n, 71, 106 

Tartarie, Louis Dubeux, 251, note 

Tartars (see Tatars) 

Tashkent, 138 

Tatar Khans, 205 

Tatars, 55, 78, 162 
Buyar Lake, 40, 56 
defeat by Genghis Khan, 58 

Ta-tsin, 114 

Tebtengri, 50, 52 

Teheran, 148 

Templars, Knights, 230 

Temujin (see Genghis Khan) 

Temugu (brother of Genghis Khan), 


Tengri. 46 

Teutonic Knights, 231 
T'ian, shan, 48, 72, 125, 127, 160, 

Tibet, 14, 87, no, in, 174, 186, 188, 

203, 208, 219 
Tiflis, 150 
Tilik Noyon. 160 
Timur-i-lang (see Tamerlane) 
Timur Malik, 133, 134 
Toghrul Khan (see Prester John) 
Tokay, 231 
Torguts, 205 
Torture, Chinese, 68 
Toukta Beg, 61, 149 
Tours, 233 

Trade, Development of, 172 
Travels of Marco Polo, Yule- 

Cordier, 213, note 
Tugh, 159 

Tuli (son of Genghis Khan), 
167, 1 80, 200 

army of, 202 

council, at, 188 

death of, 242 

duties of, 109 

golden throne of, 162 

Merv, storming of, 163 

monarch, a, 198 

Persia, invasion of, 163 

power inherited by, 194 

sons of, 202 

strategy of, 163 
Tulugkam, 63, 222 


Tuman, 79, 86 

Turan, 120 

Turkomans, 163, 168, 189 

Turko-Mongols, Union of. 73 

Turks, 69. 20" 

Twer, 206 

Women, Mangu's, 256 
Writing, Syriac, 71 

Xanadu, 174, not* 

Ugolin, Bishop of, 231 

Ugurs, 55, 69, 78* >9, *5** 1*9, 


writings of, 15 
Urga, 38 

Urgench, 150, 154, 166, 178 
Uriankhi, The, 48 
Units, 63 
Uzbegs, 204 

Vienna, 203 
Vladimir, 206 

Volga River, 14, 152, 191, 205, 242. 


Wai Wang, Emperor, 88, 92, 149 

flight of, 97, 98 

policy of. weak, 96 

pursued by Genghis Khan, 99 
Wang Khan (see Prester John) 
Wang- Yen, Prince, 101 
Waxir, 121 

Wenceslas, King, 230 
Wines, effect of, 246 

Persian, 190 
Women, duties of, 38, 123 

Yakka (see Mongols) 

Yarn, 169, 170, 173 

Yamen, 177 

Yang-tze River, 86, 96, 99 

Yarligh, 249 

Yaroslav, Duke, 234, 253 

Yassa, 73, 105, 176, 214 

Yellow River (see Yang-tze) 

Ye Liu Chutsai, Prince, 102, 105, 


administration of, 201 

chancellor to khan, 201 

character of, 245 

death of, 247 

imprisonment of, 246 

influence of, 200 

life of, 251, not* 

Ogotai, power under, 246 

report of campaign, 127, 133, 145, 
1 86 

sage of Cathay. 245 

son of, 203 

Yen-king, 8x, 84, 85. 89, 92. 94. 95. 
96. 97. 98, 3 

fall of, xoi 
Yessoutai, 49 

Yesukai (father of Genghis Khan) 
, 23 

death of, 24 
Yuri, 19-20 

Printed at the BURLEICH Putss. Ltwin's Mead. BRISTOL.